Several U.S. cabinet secretaries will gather Friday morning at the White House for the annual meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
The meeting will be chaired by Secretary of State John Kerry, and will include Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, and other agency heads and senior White House officials, according to a State Department notice.
This event will be live-streamed on www.whitehouse.gov/live on Friday, May 17, at 9:45 a.m. ET.
“The annual cabinet-level meeting serves as an opportunity to coordinate government-wide efforts and discuss new initiatives in the struggle to end modern slavery,” the State Dept. notice says. It will be the first task force meeting under Kerry’s tenure as secretary of state.
He is expected to also present medals to life-long victim advocate Florrie Burke and the global hospitality and travel company Carlson, recipients of the first-ever Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is speaking out against modern-day slavery, saying it’s “urgent” to “more successfully identify, assist, and seek justice on behalf of the millions of human trafficking victims who have been trapped in some form of slavery, bonded labor, or forced prostitution.”
He spoke Tuesday evening in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Clinton School of Public Service.
“It is alarming, and almost unfathomable,” Holder noted, “to consider that – 150 years since President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation; more than six decades after the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights prohibited the practice of slavery on a global scale; and nearly a dozen years from the day that, with President Clinton’s approval, the landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act became law – today, in communities across and beyond this country, slavery persists.”
Holder noted it was fitting that his remarks came during National Crime Victims Rights Week.
“Without question,” Holder said, slavery has reached “crisis proportions.” For his full remarks, click here.