Thursday, December 3, 2009
December 2 is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. This day commemorates the adoption, by the United Nations General Assembly, of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center estimates that more people are living in slavery today than at any point in history. 27 million of those persons are women and children.
Here is a Statement from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery:
Modern slavery – be it bonded labor, involuntary servitude, or sexual slavery – is a crime and cannot be tolerated in any culture, community, or country. Sadly, slavery persists around the globe, including within the United States. Every day millions of men, women, and children of all ages face forced labor and sexual exploitation, as well as brutal violence.”
The destructive effects of modern slavery have an impact on all of us. It weakens legitimate economies, breaks up families, creates violence, threatens public health and safety, and shreds the social fabric that is necessary for progress. It undermines our long-term efforts to promote peace and prosperity worldwide. And it is an affront to our values and our commitment to human rights.
On this International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, I reaffirm the commitment of the United States to end this scourge. Modern slavery is a global phenomenon and must be addressed with global partnerships between governments, non-governmental organizations, and civil society. Through new partnerships, the United States and the international community will work to rescue and serve survivors, bring traffickers to justice, and create a world where every person has the freedom and opportunity to fulfill his or her God-given potential.