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Aug 25 2011

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My Word by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio: Let’s Put an End to Modern-Day Slavery

By Marco  Rubio

12:00 a.m.  EDT, August  16, 2011

Even as America grapples with a struggling economy and growing debt, we must  not lose sight of our responsibility to protect and be a voice for the  powerless.

Too many of our fellow humans are being exploited as part of the trafficking  trade, a cruel form of modern-day slavery. Some are men, but most are women and  children being abused and robbed of their dignity.

While the recent U.S.  State Department’s “Annual Trafficking in Persons Report” highlighted how  pervasive this practice is worldwide, many of these victims are also in our own  communities, as about 17,000 new victims are trafficked in the U.S.  annually.

In Florida, Miami, Orlando and Tampa have become main transit points. Just  last month, 12 Floridians were accused of sex trafficking after two 15-year old  girls from Highlands County ran away to Orlando, met a couple of men who drugged  and raped them. Other men also raped the victims. One of them was then forced  into prostitution in Miami.

Fortunately, victims have many key allies. Today in Orlando, a committed  group of Florida-based and national activists is convening the 8th National and  International Preventing Abuse Conference, which is raising awareness about this  human tragedy and developing innovative ways to combat it. Groups like the  Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking (emphasis added) are doing commendable work that  exemplifies our calling to help victims of such unspeakable atrocities. 

At the federal level, a groundbreaking human-trafficking law enacted in 2000  was the first slavery-related legislation passed since the Civil War ended.  Among other goals, it required the State Department to evaluate countries on  efforts to fight this problem and highlight needed improvements. This law now  needs to be re-authorized before it expires at year’s end.

I am co-sponsoring the bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection  Reauthorization Act, which would build on the earlier version and enhance our  capabilities to support law enforcement, assist victims and maximize government  resources to combat this horrendous crime at home and abroad.

We are a compassionate nation, which understands that our most fundamental  freedoms are universal rights. Our words must make this unmistakably clear, but  our deeds must back them up. Our laws must be updated to protect victims and  improve government’s ability to combat modern-day slavery. We must continue  raising awareness to enlist support to stop this abuse.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio  of Florida was elected in 2010.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-sex-trafficking-myword-081611-20110815,0,3401904.story

 

Permanent link to this article: http://porninthevalley.com/2011/08/25/my-word-by-u-s-sen-marco-rubio-lets-put-an-end-to-modern-day-slavery/

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