International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
December 2, 2009
Modern slavery – be it bonded labor, involuntary servitude, or sexual slavery – is a crime and cannot be tolerated in
any culture, community, or country. Sadly, slavery persists around the globe, including within the United States. Every
day millions of men, women, and children of all ages face forced labor and sexual exploitation, as well as brutal
The destructive effects of modern slavery have an impact on all of us. It weakens legitimate economies, breaks up
families, creates violence, threatens public health and safety, and shreds the social fabric that is necessary for
progress. It undermines our long-term efforts to promote peace and prosperity worldwide. And it is an affront to our
values and our commitment to human rights.
On this International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, I reaffirm the commitment of the United States to end this
scourge. Modern slavery is a global phenomenon and must be addressed with global partnerships between governments,
non-governmental organizations, and civil society. Through new partnerships, the United States and the international
community will work to rescue and serve survivors, bring traffickers to justice, and create a world where every person
has the freedom and opportunity to fulfill his or her God-given potential.