The United States is no exception to the practice of modern day slavery. The US State Department said that despite its global reach, human trafficking takes place locally — “in a favorite nail salon or restaurant; in a neighborhood home or popular hotel; on a city street or rural farm.” The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says every year, “millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States”.
Urmila Bhoola the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, told IPS last March that slavery was the first human rights issue to arouse wide international concern.
Romina Canessa, a human rights lawyer and program officer at Equality Now’s “End Sex Trafficking” team, said: “Unfortunately, we do not have any exact numbers on how widespread sex trafficking is in the USA”
Elizabeth Melendez Fisher, co-founder and chief executive of Selah Freedon/Selah Way Foundation, says the sexual abuse and exploitation of vulnerable women and children have always occurred in the US.