The International Labor Organization or ILO estimates that about 21 million people around the world are kept in slavery by those who shamelessly profit from exploiting men, women and children for labor and sex. In May, the ILO released a report estimating that the victimization of persons as modern day slaves annually generates 150 billion dollars in profits for the private global economy.
The fact is that slavery occurs in every community, in every country across the globe, including the United States. “These victims face a cruelty that has no place in a civilized world,” said President Barack Obama in a written statement.“It is a crime that can take many forms, and one that tears at our social fabric, debases our common humanity, and violates what we stand for as a country and a people.”
Modern slavery is a crime that thrives in the shadows. In order to shine a spotlight on this scourge, and to encourage governments, businesses and private citizens to learn about human trafficking so they may recognize it, President Barack Obama declared January 2015, to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
“Every citizen can take action by speaking up and insisting that the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and the products they buy are made free of forced labor. Business and non-profit leaders can ensure their supply chains do not exploit individuals in bondage. And the United States Government will continue to address the underlying forces that push so many into the conditions of modern-day slavery in the first place,” wrote President Obama.
“During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we stand with the survivors, advocates, and organizations dedicated to building a world where our people and our children are not for sale. Together, let us recommit to a society where our sense of justice tells us that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, where every person can forge a life equal to their talents and worthy of their dreams.”