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Good for Secretary State Hillary Clinton for focusing on the problems in the USA with sex trafficking.  From the story:

There are thousands of modern-day “slaves” in America - girls and boys forced into the sex trade, and men and women held in debt bondage, Secretary of State Clinton said Monday. “There are Americans, unfortunately, who are held in sexual slavery,” Clinton said in releasing the State Department’s annual “Trafficking in Persons” report that for the first time included the U.S. on the list of suspect nations. The trafficking horror outlined by Clinton has for years been the focus of law enforcement in New York City, where police have waged an uphill battle against pimps and predators using massage parlors and strip joints as fronts to prey on young Americans and illegal immigrants. Last month, Mayor Bloomberg launched a public education campaign on human trafficking with ads on bus shelters in all five boroughs to “raise awareness of the impact of this horrible crime.”

We’ve had similar problems here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Some didn’t want to do anything about it, and even put an initiative on the ballot, the effect of which would have been to force law enforcement to lay off trafficking involving massage parlors and prostitution—as Secondhand Smokette described forcefully at the time. But that was finally too much for the denizens of Baghdad by the Bay, who generally shrug off even the most licentious matters, and the measure thankfully failed.

Slavery and human trafficking is an urgent issue of human exceptionalism, for it is yet another way in which human beings are objectified.  We need to clean up our own house as we urge an end to such activities abroad.

Ambassador John R. Miller, my colleague in the Center for Human Rights and Bioethics at the Discovery Institute,  is one of the world’s foremost experts on fighting slavery, holding that portfolio in the Bush (43) State Department.  Here is a column on the issue he wrote for the New York Times chastising the Bush Justice Department for going soft on the issue.

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