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Attorneys General unite to fight human trafficking

McKenna announces presidential initiative against modern-day slavery

June 23, 2011

CHICAGO—Attorney General Rob McKenna announced his 2011-2012 presidential initiative to combat human trafficking nationwide at a June 23 launch event in Chicago following his installation as president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

Flanked by members of his hand-picked leadership council, McKenna led a panel discussion on the “Pillars of Hope: Attorneys General Unite against Human Trafficking,” focusing on four “pillars” or goals in the fight against human trafficking.

McKenna discussed the importance of national leadership in identifying victims of human trafficking and providing them the hope and services they need to escape their current situations. He also stressed the importance of identifying, tracking and holding accountable those who traffic in humans and those who purchase their services.

“Human trafficking is a $32 billion global industry driven by trafficking profit. It’s the fastest growing and second largest criminal activity in the world, tied with arms and after drug dealing,” McKenna said. “Yet for many this heinous crime lurks in the shadows. It’s time to bring it out into the light, to bring hope and resources to victims and to bring justice to traffickers and those who buy victims from them.”

Additional panelists included:

  • North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, 2010-11 NAAG President;
  • Ken Thompson, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Legal Officer, LexisNexis Legal & Professional;
  • Massachusetts Attorney Martha Coakley, Leadership Council;
  • Alice Hill, Sr. Counselor to the Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security;
  • Mary Anderson, Senior Advisor to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Leadership Council;
  • Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Leadership Council; and
  • Shamere McKenzie, a youth survivor and advocate.

The presidential initiative will also focus on:

  • Holding traffickers and abusers accountable;
  • Mobilizing communities to provide hope and care for victims; and
  • Raising public awareness and reducing demand.

Video of the panel discussion will be posted on the NAAG Web site by 4 p.m. Central Time.

The presidential initiative is a year-long commitment by the NAAG President to bring the resources of his presidency to a specific national problem, culminating in Presidential Summit in Seattle in March.

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