[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8621--DEC. 22, 2010

Proclamation 8621 of December 22, 2010
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, 2011
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Our Nation was founded on the enduring principles of equality and
freedom for all. As Americans, it is our solemn responsibility to honor
and uphold this legacy. Yet, around the world and even within the United
States, victims of modern slavery are deprived of the most basic right
of freedom. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention
Month, we rededicate ourselves to preventing and ending human
trafficking, and we recognize all who continue to fight this serious
human rights violation.
Human trafficking is a global travesty that takes many forms. Whether
forced labor or sexual trafficking, child soldiering or involuntary
domestic servitude, these abuses are an affront to our national
conscience, and to our values as Americans and human beings. There is no
one type of victim--men and women, adults and children are all
vulnerable. From every corner of our Nation to every part of the globe,
we must stand firm in defense of freedom and bear witness for those
exploited by modern slavery.
At the start of each year, Americans commemorate the Emancipation
Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th
Amendment, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and sent to the
States for ratification on February 1, 1865. These seminal documents
secured the promise of freedom for millions enslaved within our borders,
and brought us closer to perfecting our Union. We also recall that, over
10 years ago, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of
2000 renewed America's commitment to combating modern slavery
domestically and internationally. With this law, America reaffirmed the
fundamental promise of ``forever free'' enshrined within the
Emancipation Proclamation.
We cannot strengthen global efforts to end modern slavery without first
accepting the responsibility to prevent, identify, and aggressively
combat this crime at home. No country can claim immunity from the
scourge of human rights abuses, or from the responsibility to confront
them. As evidence of our dedication to a universal struggle against this
heinous practice, the Department of State's ``Trafficking in Persons
Report 2010'' included America in its rankings for the first time,
measuring our efforts by the same standards to which we hold other na-

[[Page 4777]]

tions. Looking ahead, we must continue to aggressively investigate and
prosecute human trafficking cases within our own borders.
Although the United States has made great strides in preventing the
occurrence of modern slavery, prosecuting traffickers and dismantling
their criminal networks, and protecting victims and survivors, our work
is not done. We stand with those throughout the world who are working
every day to end modern slavery, bring traffickers to justice, and
empower survivors to reclaim their rightful freedom. This month, I urge
all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery
and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, we can
combat this crime within our borders and join with our partners around
the world to end this injustice.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2011 as
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in
the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. I call
upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can
play in ending modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate
programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day
of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-
fifth.
BARACK OBAMA