Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement after President Obama's Executive Order today strengthening the U.S. government's approach to human trafficking.
The President discussed the scourge of modern-day slavery that plagues almost every country in the world, including the United States. He outlined plans to better protect victims and help them thrive as survivors, make creative use of technology, and improve efforts to "spot it and stop it" in the U.S.
"Our hearing earlier this summer shined a spotlight on modern day slavery," said Sen. Kerry. "Today's Executive Order designed to thoroughly scrub all labor practices in USG contracts is a step in the right direction. There should be no trace of human trafficking in federal contracts. This Executive Order will increase the capability of our Federal Agencies to thoroughly monitor all federal contracts and it will send a loud message to the slippery characters, who wish to exploit the lives and liberty of men and women around the world, that it will not be tolerated."
On July 17, 2012, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to explore the factors that contribute to the proliferation of trafficking in persons, challenges to combatting trafficking, and strategies for its eradication.