Partnerships To Combat Modern Slavery

Posted by Luis CdeBaca
April 10, 2013
Placard Sits on a Table During an Atlanta-Based Conference on Efforts to Combat Modern Slavery

Yesterday, the White House hosted a Forum to Combat Human Trafficking to highlight the Obama Administration's accomplishments in the fight against modern slavery, demonstrate its ongoing and steadfast commitment to this issue, and engage the stakeholder community. Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz; Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett; and Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, and Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls Tina Tchen spoke to partners from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the faith community, and the private sector to underscore the President's commitment to this effort at home and abroad. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano also spoke at the forum to emphasize the work going on across government to put a stop to this crime. Additionally, a new Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States was released for public comment yesterday.

Secretary Kerry joined by video to introduce the first-ever Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Director Muñoz announced the recipients of the award: advocate Florrie Burke, for her work to develop comprehensive services for survivors and promote the victim-centered approach; and global hospitality and travel company Carlson, for adopting and promoting business practices that seek to protect victims of human trafficking.

Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Bill Corr moderated a panel on the victim-centered approach to combating trafficking, which included a survivor and advocate, a member of the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Community Partnerships, and myself. In my remarks, I discussed the importance of engagement and collaboration among stakeholders in the fight against slavery. By combining resources, expertise, unique insights, and technology, partnerships maximize our individual and collective efforts to protect victims of trafficking and bring their abusers to justice, while working to prevent further exploitation. The Strategic Action Plan embraces this strategy of collaboration by calling for stronger partnerships, while strengthening interagency coordination. The Forum concluded with demonstrations focused on technology-based solutions, and another panel on private-sector innovation supporting law enforcement efforts to combat child sex trafficking.

At the forum, we announced the State Department's new public-private partnership with New Perimeter, LLC, a non-profit organization established by the global law firm DLA Piper. We developed this partnership to increase the availability of pro bono legal services for trafficking victims and training for legal professionals to ensure they have the tools they need to deal with this crime. We know where the gaps are, and we need to take steps to close them. That may mean connecting lawyers in small communities with other service providers, and training them to provide a range of legal services to victims and to the organizations that assist them. It also means training judges and prosecutors about the needs of victims and the complexities of trafficking cases.

By linking the expertise of our diplomats and the global reach of DLA Piper (which employs more than 4,000 lawyers in more than 30 countries), I am confident we can make a real difference improving victims' access to justice. Similarly, the new Federal Strategic Action Plan will help ensure that victims in the United States get the support and services they need to move forward. A steadily growing number of partnerships across domestic and international communities means a more robust, comprehensive approach to attacking this problem and to walking with survivors on their road freedom.

Related Content: Ten Ways You Can Help Fight Modern Slavery



Lokesh P.
April 11, 2013

Lokesh P. in India writes:

Greate Thank you for sharing the information it has helped me greatly. Nice 1

Jacqueline Z.
Maine, USA
April 11, 2013

Jacqueline Z. in Maine writes:

The Table needs to be larger for these events. Many smaller, specialized NGO's have relevant information, strategies and thoughts on the subjects at hand.

Organization budget, size and visual or ground presence should not be the only determining factors.The problem is complex and fought on many fronts. Screen applicants fairly. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, you have met with many of us and know this to be true.


Jacqueline Z.
No Human Trafficking

Susan C.
Florida, USA
April 12, 2013

Susan C. in Florida writes:

It is essential that we bring attention to this continuing, and horrific, problem. I live in a state, Florida, that is a "gateway" to this awful practice. How much time is spent by the states themselves in combating this horrid situation? I read very little about it here in Florida. I realize that it is difficult with such a large coastal area, as Florida has, but is that the problem, or is the real problem that this practice is very profitable for many people. Just like the drug trade, too many individuals are making large sums of money from this situation. Sadly, "money' talks and most of these people who are "sold" have little or no voice at all. When will we value human beings,no matter that they are poor, over the "almighty" dollar? Maybe then we will make progress as the human race. Until then, I see little hope that we can stop human trafficking. After all, it makes a profit.


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