On hu­man traf­fick­ing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

In our po­lit­i­cally di­vided na­tion, I think there’s one Amer­i­can value we can all agree on: Every­one de­serves to be free.

On Tues­day, the State Depart­ment re­leased the 2017 Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons Re­port, which ranks 187 coun­tries on their ef­forts to com­bat hu­man traf­fick­ing, in­clud­ing the U.S. This re­port sheds light on the hid­den crime of mod­ern-day slav­ery—a crime es­ti­mated to hold more than 45 mil­lion men, women, and chil­dren in bondage.

The 19th cen­tury abo­li­tion­ist Wil­liam Wil­ber­force said, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” What does this mean for us? For one thing, our mem­bers of Congress should recom­mit them­selves to pro­tect­ing the in­tegrity of this re­port and the U.S. for­eign-aid pro­grams that help res­cue slaves and put traf­fick­ers be­hind bars. GARALD R. SHIRES Lit­tle Rock

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