Obama signs executive order to combat human trafficking

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on September 26, 2012

US President Barack Obama has signed an executive order aimed to tackle human trafficking in the country — what he called as “modern day slavery’’.

According to the executive order, federal contractors are prohibit from using misleading recruitment practices, charging employees recruitment fees and destroying or confiscating workers’ passports.

It requires that for work exceeding $500,000 that is performed abroad, federal contractors and sub-contractors must maintain compliance plans appropriate for the nature and scope of the activities performed.

Such plans must include: an employee awareness programme, a process for employees to report trafficking violations without fear of retaliation, and recruitment and housing plans.

Each of these contractors and sub-contractors must also certify that neither it nor any of its contractors has engaged in trafficking-related activities, it said.

Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative, Obama said: “As President, I directed my administration to step up our efforts. We’ve expanded our interagency task force to include more federal partners, including the FBI. The intelligence community is devoting more resources to identifying trafficking networks. We’ve strengthened protections so that foreign-born workers know their rights.”

With more than 20 million victims of human trafficking around the world, Obama said he has directed the administration to increase our efforts.

“We are going to do more to spot it and stop it. We’ll prepare a new assessment of human trafficking in the United States so we better understand the scope and scale of the problem,” he said.

“We are turning the tables on the traffickers. Just as they are now using technology and the Internet to exploit their victims, we’re going to harness technology to stop them.

We’re encouraging tech companies and advocates and law enforcement — and we’re also challenging college students — to develop tools that our young people can use to stay safe online and on their smart phones,” he said.

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Published on September 26, 2012
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