June 17th, 2009
02:31 PM ET

Partnering against trafficking

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/06/16/human.trafficking.report/art.hillary.clinton.gi.jpg caption="Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons Report aims 'to shine the light brightly on ... modern slavery.'"]

Hillary Rodham Clinton
For the Washington Post

Twenty-year-old Oxana Rantchev left her home in Russia in 2001 for what she believed was a job as a translator in Cyprus. A few days later, she was found dead after attempting to escape the traffickers who tried to force her into prostitution.

Oxana's story is the story of modern slavery. Around the world, millions of people are living in bondage. They labor in fields and factories under threat of violence if they try to escape. They work in homes for families that keep them virtually imprisoned. They are forced to work as prostitutes or to beg in the streets. Women, men and children of all ages are often held far from home with no money, no connections and no way to ask for help. They discover too late that they've entered a trap of forced labor, sexual exploitation and brutal violence. The United Nations estimates that at least 12 million people worldwide are victims of trafficking. Because they often live and work out of sight, that number is almost certainly too low. More than half of all victims of forced labor are women and girls, compelled into servitude as domestics or sweatshop workers or, like Oxana, forced into prostitution. They face not only the loss of their freedom but also sexual assaults and physical abuses.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Human Rights
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Karen

    Those books are the Obama-Clintons special edition copy of The Little Red Book.

    Also known as "Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong"


    June 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  2. Human Rights

    This is just so sad to hear. We all have to work together and try to stop those sick people. It is so devastating for the families. Every time I hear about this I go mad. We all have to think about this because someday "God forbid" it could be our own children.

    June 17, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  3. dar

    I'm surprised how many people, particularly mothers and father do not pay attention to this. How many missing children, young people end up in this situation, that are never found? The U.S. has many hubs in our U.S. cities for trafficking and I'm so glad to see our government stepping up to the plate! We need to open our eyes as a society and protect all young children/youths from use/abuse. There are great advances with the U.S. task forces that didn't exist in the early 90's! There are also still major problems with ally countries as well as rogue nations. Thank goodness we're here talking about it. Finally!

    June 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  4. Krasi

    I am so thankful to see this story here! Human trafficking is the modern day slavery and no one should ever doubt that it is an activity impacting every single country – a supplier, a receiver, or both. I have had to do a report on the issue and even though I knew what to expect, the findings left me sad and angry and more than ever willing to join the fight against the abhorring practice.

    June 17, 2009 at 2:54 pm |