21 Million People Live in Bondage Worldwide, Says Report

By Catherine Woodiwiss 04-10-2013
Photo courtesy ChameleonsEye/shutterstock.com

Another person falls victim to forced labor every 30 seconds. Photo courtesy ChameleonsEye/shutterstock.com

Members of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships presented a report to the president this week, offering recommendations on how to leverage partnerships to combat human trafficking.

Human trafficking is one of the top-grossing industries in the world, and claims another victim nearly every 30 seconds. The Advisory Council, a group of religious and non-profit leaders including Leith Anderson, Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, and Lynne Hybels, spent nine months mapping the scope and scale of modern-day slavery, considering possible responses, and formulating recommendations for the Administration.

“The extraordinary reach of this crime is shocking,” they write. “Our country’s leadership is urgently needed to fight this heinous crime.”

The report, “Building Partnerships to Eradicate Modern-Day Slavery,” makes 10 recommendations for the Obama administration, including dramatically scaling up efforts to combat human trafficking, monitor for and eliminate slave labor in supply chains and labor recruitment, and better engage diverse American communities to join this fight.

President Obama has cast human trafficking unequivocally as an issue of moral urgency, calling it “one of the great human rights causes of our time.” In September, the President asserted “we know that every life saved … is an act of justice; worthy of the ‘considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.’”

Read the full report here.

Catherine Woodiwiss is Associate Web Editor at Sojourners.

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