Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JUNE 21, 2012 6:30 AM

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Stand up against trafficking

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks 184 countries on their efforts to combat human trafficking, including the United States.

While the United States has long been a global leader in the fight against modern-day slavery, this Congress has thus far failed to pass a critical piece of anti-trafficking legislation: The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. This bill renews the landmark trafficking law of 2000, which made human trafficking a federal crime and established the Trafficking in Persons Office to combat trafficking internationally.

The Iowa City area was shocked to find local participants in a prostitution ring not too long ago. Don't be misled — prostitution rings are the same as sex trafficking. This is an issue with which we as a community can relate. Let's help fight it instead of being afraid or indifferent. Fighting slavery has always been a rare point of bipartisan cooperation in Washington.

As we approach the anniversary of our nation's founding in a couple weeks — a nation "conceived in liberty," in the words of President Lincoln — Congress should come together again to rid the world of slavery, once and for all.

Joel Bouwers

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