In 2011, President Obama proclaimed January 2012 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month:
"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."
- There are an estimated 20-30 million people enslaved today (believed to be more than at any point in human history). People forced to work without pay, under threat of violence and unable to walk away.
- Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry; $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
- Between 14,500-17,500 people are trafficked in the USA each year, according to a US State Dept. report.
A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery by E. Benjamin Skinner (2008)
As Samantha Power and Philip Gourevitch did for genocide, Skinner has done for modern-day slavery. With years of reporting in such places as Haiti, Sudan, India, Eastern Europe, The Netherlands, and, yes, even suburban America, he has produced a vivid testament and moving reportage on one of the great evils of our time.