warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Obama On Brothels, Slaves And Forced Labor: 'We See You'

Paresh Dave |
September 25, 2012 | 9:56 a.m. PDT

Executive Director

President Barack Obama called for more international consciousness about human trafficking, from prostitution to slave labor, at an event for Bill Clinton's foundation, saying the U.S. has increased its spotlight on countries committing egregious human rights violations.

Modern-day slavery has "no place in the civilized world," he said. But with more than 20 million victims annually, the president told the Clinton Global Initiative audience in New York that there's more work to do.

Obama signed an executive order Tuesday that he said would raise the bar on federal contractors by requiring them to file human trafficking plans ensuring workers are protected from forced labor.

"We’re making it clear," he said, "that American tax dollars must never be used to support the trafficking of human beings. Never."

He said the U.S. would put more pressure on countries such as Burma to rise to international standards.

Obama committed to more study and training about human trafficking both domestically and abroad while involving everyone from teachers to transportation workers to spot danger signs and to remember to treat victims with dignity.

"We see you. We hear you. We insist on your dignity," he said to victims.

The president also mentioned online bullying, reiterating his challenge to the tech community to create tools to keep people safe online.

California voters will have a chance to reshape human trafficking and prostitution laws this November. Read more about that opportunity here.

Obama's speech followed his address to the United Nations in which he said Iran doesn't have forever to show it has curbed its nuclear ambitions.

Like reporter Paresh Dave on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ or send him an e-mail.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.