Sunday, January 8, 2012

Slavery still exists. Obama names January 2012 "Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month"

19-year-old Carina Saunders,  trafficked and then murdered in Oklahoma in October 2011. Photo:
President Obama declared January 2012 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. You thought slavery was a thing of the past? Think again. The "Land of the Free" is not spared the curse of slavery and human trafficking. In fact, as a wealthy nation, we attract it.

Learn more: Toolkit for individuals interested in combating human trafficking

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Obama's presidential statement on the January 2011 declaration:

Nearly a century and a half ago, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation -- a document that reaffirmed the noble goals of equality and freedom for all that lie at the heart of what it means to live in America.
In the years since, we have tirelessly pursued the realization and protection of these essential principles. Yet, despite our successes, thousands of individuals living in the United States and still more abroad suffer in silence under the intolerable yoke of modern slavery.
During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we stand with all those who are held in compelled service; we recognize the people, organizations and government entities that are working to combat human trafficking; and we recommit to bringing an end to this inexcusable human rights abuse.
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.
My administration continues to implement our comprehensive strategy to combat human trafficking in America.
By coordinating our response across federal agencies, we are working to protect victims of human trafficking with effective services and support, prosecute traffickers through consistent enforcement, and prevent human rights abuses by furthering public awareness and addressing the root causes of modern slavery.
The steadfast defense of human rights is an essential part of our national identity, and as long as individuals suffer the violence of slavery and human trafficking, we must continue the fight.
With the start of each year, we commemorate the anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and submitted to the States for ratification on February 1, 1865.
These documents stand as testaments to the gains we have made in pursuit of freedom and justice for all, and they remind us of the work that remains to be done.
This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, and in cooperation with our partners around the world, we can work to end this terrible injustice and protect the rights to life and liberty entrusted to us by our forebears and owed to our children.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2012 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1.
I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.

Yes, it happens here. This has got to stop.


fan of Gaia said...

Greed is at the bottom of this industry. You can help to eliminate some of it by being an informed consumer. Ask yourself, "How can they make this so cheaply?" Perhaps the workers are not being paid. We all have a part to play in fighting slavery.

Vicente Duque said...

Torturing Women detained by ICE ( Immigration and Customs Enforcement ) : "It was very hard for me as a young 24-year-old woman to see the great inhumane treatment that such detention centers practice. Many people who were not able to speak English were treated differently by the officers; some were neglected and ignored.

Imprisoning and Deporting People for Private Business - Some of them are American Citizens and some inmates are forgotten while making profits for Shark Entrepreneurs related to Republicans.

This Establishment of Jailer Businessmen gives a lot of Money for the Political Campaigns of Great Racists like Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, former State Senator Russell Pearce ( already recalled ! ) and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Color Lines - News for Action
What If Nobody Told You Your Daughter Had Been Mistakenly Deported?
[Reader Forum]
by Channing Kennedy
Monday, January 9 2012

Some excerpts :

I have been in detention in Florida at the Broward Transitional Center In Pompano beach; it was a bitter experience. You are treated very inhumanely; if you are sick, you must fill out a request to see the doctor (it can take up to a week to see the doctor). A lot of the women detained suffered from excessive bleeding during their periods; some had stopped menstruating (a sign of psychological stress). There was an inmate who had tried to commit suicide; the doctor placed her under surveillance for one day and then released her back into the regular population. She was always drugged up with medication and spent the entire day in bed.

It was very hard for me as a young 24-year-old woman to see the great inhumane treatment that such detention centers practice. Many people who were not able to speak English were treated differently by the officers; some were neglected and ignored. There was an issue with bed bugs; a lot of women developed rashes. Once again, if you felt sick you would have to wait a week, which by then you will either feel better or worse. I remember always feeling watched over, even in my sleep. I had very bad headaches, always had nightmares. When we had to be counted around 2:00 AM, the officers will come in the cells yelling and waking us up. Sometimes they will come in at any given time in the wee hours of the night and will take some detainees, and we never saw them again. I didn’t know where they were taking them to and neither did they. It was scary to think that you could not even sleep due to being afraid and always thinking ” will I be taken away next?” “where will they take me to” …

I met great women in detention; their stories will forever be engraved in my heart. These women were undocumented, but they were all great souls. A lot of them ended up there due to lack of drivers licences. Many of them like myself had no criminal records yet still forced to be detained under “a threat to society” or “terrorism.” In the detention center where I was, we were supposed to have “Arts and Crafts” every other day; I never attended any of them - since I never witnessed such classes. The food at commissary was very unhealthy; milk had to be sipped quick since we had no fridge to store it. When we had a meeting with one of ICE’s top directors of the center we asked if we can please have healthier choices at commissary. We felt that since we had to pay for the food ourselves we might as well demand fruits and vegetables. The answer we received from him was: “Ladies, I did a lot regarding the food we provide you with - It was my idea to have salt and pepper provided during lunch and dinner meals” … .