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Presidential Proclamation on Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

3 January 2012
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

President Obama has issued a proclamation, designating January 2012 as Slavery and Human Trafficking prevention month.

The proclamation coincides with two historically significant dates for ending slavery in the United States: the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, on January 1, 1863 and the ratification of the 13th Amendment on February 1, 1865, which abolished slavery.

In his proclamation, the President said:

“Human trafficking endangers the lives of millions of people around the world, and it is a crime that knows no borders. Trafficking networks operate both domestically and transnationally, and although abuses disproportionally affect women and girls, the victims of this ongoing global tragedy are men, women, and children of all ages. Around the world, we are monitoring the progress of governments in combating trafficking while supporting programs aimed at its eradication. From forced labor and debt bondage to forced commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude, human trafficking leaves no country untouched. With this knowledge, we rededicate ourselves to forging robust international partnerships that strengthen global anti-trafficking efforts, and to confronting traffickers here at home.”

Poland has made significant progress over the last view years in combating the global issue of human trafficking. The U.S. State Department’s yearly report on human trafficking showed Poland has consistently taken measures to address this problem, including recently revising its anti-trafficking laws, initiated awareness campaigns, and funding victim protection programs. During 2010, the Polish government identified 85 victims of human trafficking in Poland, down from 206 in 2009.

The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw has also done its part here in Poland to raise awareness of the issue. In December, 2011 Ambassador Feinstein spoke at the White Ribbon Award, honoring men who take action to prevent violence against women. The U.S. Embassy also initiated its own awareness campaign by posting facts about gender-based violence and human trafficking on the Embassy Facebook website as part of the 16-Day Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence.