Last year, President Obama articulated an ambitious and multifaceted agenda to combat human trafficking in his speech at the Clinton Global Initiative. This week, the Administration took two important steps to advance that agenda.
In 2012, the President charged the Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships with making recommendations for strengthening the partnerships the federal government forms with community organizations, both religious and secular, to prevent and combat trafficking. The Advisory Council delivered its report of recommendations, “Building Partnerships to Eradicate Modern-day Slavery,” to the President in April 2012.
In partial fulfillment of those recommendations, we welcomed more than one hundred leaders to the White House this week for a day-long convening focused on human trafficking. The gathering included heads of religious denominations, rabbis and nuns, CEOs of large non-profits such as the United Way and Girl Scouts, foundation leaders, along with human trafficking survivors and experts, all united in their interest to join forces to eradicate modern-day slavery. Participants discussed ways their organizations can work together to raise awareness and educate the public, identify victims, expand services for survivors and eliminate slavery in the goods and products we consume. We look forward to continuing to work with this group in coming days.
Last year, President Obama also called for the establishment of other public-private partnerships that would improve care for survivors of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. On Monday, the White House announced the launch of the Partnership for Freedom, a three-year public-private partnership led by Humanity United, the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Partnership for Freedom will sponsor three Innovation Challenges to inspire communities to work together to identify new and sustainable ways to address some of the key challenges facing survivors of modern-day slavery. The first challenge, Reimagine: Opportunity, opened yesterday. Learn more about how to participate at www.partnershipforfreedom.org
By partnering with private philanthropic organizations, government officials, religious and community leaders, we can help achieve the President’s vision of supporting and empowering survivors and ultimately ending modern-day slavery.