This week's "Photo of the Week" comes to us from the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, of which U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chaired the annual meeting at the White House on March 15. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 authorized the establishment of the President's Interagency Task Force (PITF) to coordinate federal efforts to combat human trafficking.
"Nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to the enduring cause of freedom. Then as now, we remain steadfast in our resolve to see that all men, women, and children have the opportunity to realize this greatest of gifts. Yet millions around the world -- including here in the United States -- toil under the boot of modern slavery," President Obama said in a statement about the meeting.
The U.S. Department of State has made the struggle against modern slavery a key part of U.S. diplomatic engagement. The Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons leads the U.S. government's global fight against contemporary forms of slavery. Ambassador at Large Luis CdeBaca directs the Department of State's anti-trafficking efforts within the Office of Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights under the leadership of Under Secretary María Otero.
During the meeting, Secretary Clinton said, "Our annual Trafficking in Persons Report is the most comprehensive assessment of how well governments are doing to address this crime. The TIP Office's foreign assistance grants are making a difference in 37 countries, supporting programs that provide crucial assistance to survivors and help governments build their capacity to fight this crime. And thanks to our leadership, the international community is getting behind the effort. Nearly 140 countries have enacted modern anti-trafficking laws, and nearly 150 are party to the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol."
You can watch the Secretary's full remarks on YouTube, and view more photos from the event on our Flickr photostream. After first learning about human trafficking, many people want to help in some way but do not know how. Here is a list of 20 ways you can help fight modern slavery.