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White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Convenes 'Compassion in Action Roundtable' to Discuss Human Trafficking

Contact: Alyssa J. McClenning, Office of Communications, The White House, 202-456-7345, amcclenning@who.eop.gov


WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives hosted "Faith-Based and Community Solutions to Combat Human Trafficking" today as part of their Compassion in Action Roundtable series. 


"Faith-Based and Community Organizations are freeing innocent victims and restoring the lives of those forced into modern-day slavery," said Jay Hein, Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.  "These organizations are fighting for those coerced into bonded labor, bought and sold in prostitution, exploited in domestic servitude, enslaved in factories and captured to serve unlawfully as child soldiers.  By partnering U.S. Government resources with the efforts of the faith-based and community organizations, we are determined to end human trafficking."


Each year, an estimated 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States; an estimated 600,000-800,000 are trafficked internationally.


The roundtable brought together stakeholders who are instrumental in the fight against human trafficking, both domestically and abroad. Attendees included government officials, policymakers, business leaders, foundation representatives and faith-based and community leaders. Topics ranged from the importance of partnership between government officials, law enforcement and non-governmental organizations, to private sector strategies to raise awareness.


"Trafficking in persons is nothing less than modern-day slavery. It shouldn't be regulated or merely mitigated; it must be abolished," said Ambassador Mark Lagon, director, Office to Monitor and combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. State Department. "This Roundtable is fitting given that the abolitionist movement has historically been led by people of faith, who recognize the inherent worth of every individual."


The Compassion in Action Roundtables are monthly forums designed to examine the unique role of faith-based and community organizations in addressing the great human needs of our day. 


President George W. Bush created the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives and Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in eleven federal agencies to lead a determined attack on need by strengthening and expanding the work of faith-based and community organizations in providing social services.  For more information on the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, please visit www.fbci.gov.