On February 1, 1865 President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery and sent it to the States for ratification.  February 1st was later established as National Freedom Day.  A very complex form of “modern slavery” currently pervades across society and affects men, women and children.  Through human trafficking, individuals and families are entrapped in complicated schemes of debt bondage that may continue from one generation to the next, and countless numbers are forced into some form of sexual slavery, where victims are coerced into prostitution and humiliating, often brutal situations that result in physical and psychological trauma.  USAID continues to be committed to not only preventing trafficking but protecting and assisting victims, and strengthening the capacity of governments to prosecute and convict traffickers.

Radiohead, one of the world's top bands, is a part of the MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) campaign, a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and MTV to raise awareness about human trafficking. The collaboration takes the Asia MTV EXIT campaign to a global audience, reaching as many as 560 million households worldwide.

Today, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah will attend the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 authorized the President to establish the President’s Interagency Task Force (PITF), a cabinet-level task force to coordinate federal efforts to combat human trafficking. The PITF is chaired by the Secretary of State and meets at least once a year.

USAID assistance works to prevent trafficking, protect and assist victims and strengthen the capacity of governments to prosecute and convict traffickers. This direct anti-trafficking assistance is reinforced by USAID programs that support economic development, good governance, education, health and human rights.  As part of that assistance, USAID has partnered with MTV having some of the biggest stars of popular music and culture lend their voices in the fight.

Below are links of our work with respect to Human Trafficking through our Women in Development office and partnership with MTV’s EXIT End Exploitation and Trafficking Campaign.