Obama Reaffirms U.S. Commitment in Fight Against Human Trafficking Here and Abroad

By Michaelle Bond, Ellie Ismailidou and Elaine Mao

New York, NY – The economy took a back seat to foreign and social policy Tuesday as President Obama condemned recent Middle East anti-American violence and promised a U.S. commitment to fight human trafficking, during speeches to the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative.

Obama acknowledged that at past CGI conferences, he addressed economic recovery, job creation and global development. But this year, he chose to speak about a different issue: “I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name – modern slavery,” Obama said.

And he emphasized that the problem is close to home. “With all the progress we’ve made, the bitter truth is trafficking is also going on here in the United States,” he said.

The president said the U.S. aims to lead by example by partnering with groups that help women and girls escape their captors, treating trafficking victims “not as criminals,” and doing more to “spot it and stop it.” In an executive order issued today, Obama detailed banned federal contractor behavior.

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Together with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), FRIDA committed to providing seed grants to 15 women-led organizations advancing girls’ and women’s economic rights and empowerment from around the world. Our CGI commitment was announced during Chelsea Clinton’s “A Case for Optimism” panel! 


An exciting report on commitment progress that was announced at this years 2012 Annual Meeting:

Enabling Sustainable Agroforestry in Developing Nations

In 2010, The Timberland Company committed to developing a large scale agro-forestry program within deforested, rural Haiti and to significantly scale up an existing program in China’s Horqin Desert. The programs will support sustainable agriculture, environmental restoration, and socio-economic development for local peasant farmers who lead the development and management of forests and tree nurseries (that support reforestation and watershed management. Each project will supply the farmers with seed, fertilizer, and training to help them improve crop production and integrate trees into their farming practices.

CGI Coverage Around the Web (AM Edition)

Romney’s CGI Speech

Romney praises City Year, links unrest in Middle East with high unemployment rate in the region, the Huffington Post reports.

In speech, Romney lays out a plan for a hypothetical “prosperity pact” that would link development and trade policy. Go to the Washington Post for more. 

Romney would make foreign aid dependent upon progress in developing countries, the New York Times reports. 

The Wall Street Journal has posted a text of Romney’s speech. 

USA Today describes how Romney repudiated Obama’s foreign policy during his speech. 

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Wal-mart Stores, Inc. President and CEO Michael T. Duke, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Secretary General of United Nations Ban Ki-Moon and President of World Bank Group Jim Young Kim at the Clinton Global Initiative. Photo by Shadi Bushra.