US to take stern steps
against human trafficking
[ WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2003 02:50:35 PM ]
WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush has signed a directive to advance America's fight against human trafficking, as the world conference is actively deliberating urgent measures to eradicate this global menace.
The policy directive signed yesterday follows from the President's actions taken on February 13, 2002, when he signed Executive Order 13257 to establish a Cabinet-level Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
The State Department will issue its third annual Trafficking in Persons Report very soon.
"The United States is committed to the eradication of human trafficking, modern form of slavery, both domestically and abroad. It is a crime that is an affront to human dignity", the department notes.
The Administration policy includes the use of law enforcement tools, prevention efforts, and victim protection and assistance.
US Attorney General John Ashcroft said federal attorneys are prosecuting a record number of sex trafficking cases, but they need more help from foreign governments.
Starting this year, countries identified as having failed to make a significant effort to halt the practice may be penalised", says Chris Smith, a Republican.
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