Condemning the “outrage of human trafficking” Tuesday, President Barack Obama laid out new steps that his administration will take to combat trafficking in the U.S. and overseas during his remarks to the Clinton Global Initiative. “I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name; modern slavery,” Obama said. “It is barbaric and it is evil and it has no place in a civilized world.”
The president’s remarks differed markedly from Mitt Romney‘s CGI address Tuesday morning, which laid out the Republican candidate’s foreign aid platform. By contrast, Obama largely set aside electoral politics, opting instead to play to the audience of humanitarian donors and Clinton-philes by discussing an issue that is a cause celébrè for his host, former President Bill Clinton.
Obama also took advantage of his position as an incumbent, using his CGI appearance to announce executive orders to strengthen prohibitions against the use of forced labour by federal contractors, and to increase assistance for anti-trafficking training for law enforcement, transit officials, and educators.
“We cannot ask other nations to do what we are not doing ourselves,” Obama said. “American tax dollars must never, ever be used to support the trafficking of human beings. We have zero tolerance, we mean what we say, and we’ll enforce it.”
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