05 Jan President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 2020 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Human trafficking erodes personal dignity and destroys the moral fabric of society. It is an affront to humanity that tragically reaches all parts of the world, including communities across our Nation. Each day, in cities, suburbs, rural areas, and tribal lands, people of every age, gender, race, religion, and nationality are devastated by this grave offense. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to eradicate this horrific injustice.
Trafficking crimes are perpetrated by transnational criminal enterprises, gangs, and cruel individuals. Through force, fraud, coercion, and sexual exploitation of minors, traffickers rob countless individuals of their dignity and freedom, splinter families, and threaten the safety of our communities. In all its forms, human trafficking is an intolerable blight on any society dedicated to freedom, individual rights, and the rule of law.
Human trafficking is often a hidden crime that knows no boundaries. By some estimates, as many as 24.9 million people – adults and children — are trapped in a form of modern slavery around the world, including in the United States. Human traffickers exploit others through forced labor or commercial sex, and traffickers profit from their victims’ horrific suffering. The evil of human trafficking must be defeated. We remain relentless in our resolve to bring perpetrators to justice, to protect survivors and help them heal, and to prevent further victimization and destruction of innocent lives.
This year marks nearly 20 years since our Nation took decisive steps in the global fight against human trafficking by enacting the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and nearly 15 years since the United States ratified the United Nations’ Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol). Both the TVPA and the Palermo Protocol established a comprehensive framework for combating human trafficking by establishing prevention programs, creating victim protections, and advancing prosecutions under expanded criminal statutes to usher in the modern anti-trafficking movement domestically and globally. These two measures illustrate a global consensus on the issue, and yet as a Nation we must continue to work proactively to foster a culture of justice and accountability for this horrific crime.
With my resolute support, executive departments and agencies are steadfastly continuing the battle to abolish this form of modern slavery. In October 2019, the 19 members of my Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons convened to highlight significant accomplishments in our sustained, whole-of-Government fight against human trafficking. The Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) initiative, led by the Department of Justice, more than doubled convictions of human traffickers in ACTeam districts. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security initiated more than 800 investigations related to human trafficking and the Department of State launched its Human Trafficking Expert Consultant Network, comprised of survivors and other subject matter experts, to inform its anti-trafficking policies and programs. The Department of Health and Human Services continues to provide funding for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and in Fiscal Year 2018 it funded victim assistance programs that provided benefits and services to more than 2,400 victims. For the first time, the Department of Transportation committed $5.4 million in grants to the prevention of human trafficking and other crimes that may occur on buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation. The Office of Management and Budget also published new anti-trafficking guidance for Government procurement officials to more effectively combat human trafficking in Federal contracting.
The inherent dignity, freedom, and autonomy of every person must be respected and protected. Despite the progress we have made and the momentum we have built toward ending human trafficking, there is still more to be done. This month, we renew our resolve to redouble our efforts to deliver justice to all who contribute to the cruelty of human trafficking, and we will tenaciously pursue the promise of freedom for all victims of this terrible crime.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2020 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual observation of National Freedom Day on February 1, 2020. I call upon industry associations, law enforcement, private businesses, faith-based and other organizations of civil society, schools, families, and all Americans to recognize our vital roles in ending all forms of modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities aimed at ending and preventing all forms of human trafficking.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtyfirst day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Source: Office of the White House
President Donald J. Trump
Bringing awareness to MMIW – Missing and Murdered Indigenous – Women along with bridging the communication gap between the Trump administration and the Native American elders was a vision of Dr. Lisa Christiansen at the 2018 inaugural “Native Americans For President Trump Birthday Celebration”. In an interview with USA Today, Lisa Christiansen said she believes everyone should respect the president. Christiansen and her father, Mack Vann who was the last monolingual Cherokee became the target of social media fire according to Indian Country Today.
In our exclusive interview Lisa Christiansen said this action to protect Native Americans and bring cultural artifacts home to tribal lands is just the first step of what she believed would become a reality since the inauguration of President Trump “because President Donald J. Trump has integrity and most people refuse to see his empathetic character who believes in God, Country, and Family. I am only sad my dad, Mack Vann, passed away before he could see his vision come to fruition.”
Christiansen’s father passed on April 22, 2019 from complications of surgery. Vann was 88 years old. Mack Vann’s daughter, Lisa Christiansen, says her father died of complications during surgery due to several variables on Monday in a hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, while undergoing treatment for an ongoing heart condition.
ADDRESSING THE CRISIS: The Administration is working to address the crisis of missing and murdered women in Native American communities.
SUPPORTING TRIBAL COMMUNITIES: Operation Lady Justice is the latest step in the President’s efforts to support our Tribal communities.
PROMISES MADE, PROMISES KEPT!
In an exclusive interview we asked Lisa Christiansen what she is doing to support the families of the missing and murdered Indigenous Women, this was her response and we agree, we urge you take action in this movement!
“First I give all glory to God and I thank President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Of The United States of America Melania Trumpfor their proactive action to do what no other sitting president has ever done by recognizing our tribes and more important building a task force on the foundation of communication of our needs, thank you!
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Need Our Support! There is an epidemic of missing and murdered native women throughout North America, even though it’s been going on for decades and many native families on the continent can recount stories of loved ones who’ve gone missing or been murdered, there remains insufficient data on the problem because there’s been no centralized database for keeping that information.
In 2013, the canadian government began a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, but the United States has yet to take such action. The statistics we do have are astounding.
In the United States, native women are murdered at 10 times the national average rate on some reservations, according to a 2008 report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice.
A 2016 National Institute of Justice–funded study revealed that a staggering 84% of native women have experienced violence in their lifetime, and 56% of native women are survivors of sexual violence. But we aren’t just numbers.
Missing and murdered native women have stories and faces, families who miss them desperately, and come from communities who are crying out for justice.
In 2017, Savanna Greywind, 22, was eight months pregnant when she went missing in North Dakota. Several weeks later, her body was discovered in the Red River, wrapped in plastic. Her newborn was found at the apartment of her neighbors, who were arrested for brutally murdering Savanna and ripping her baby from her womb. Savanna was Dakota Sioux, from the Spirit Lake Reservation, and Turtle Mountain Chippewa.
We are also being murdered by those who are charged with protecting us, as natives are killed by police at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Renee Davis, a 23-year-old single mother and citizen of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, was shot and killed in her home on the Muckleshoot reservation by King County Police in 2016, after police said she ignored orders to drop a a weapon. She was five months pregnant. Native women are targets regardless of station or socioeconomic status.
Native actress Misty Upham, 32, was missing for 11 days before she was found dead in a Washington State ravine with her ribs broken and skull shattered.
We continue to search for other native women who have disappeared without a trace. Ashley Loring HeavyRunner, a 20-year-old native college student, vanished from the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana in June 2017. She is still missing.
How does this problem continue? There are myriad factors that contribute. Native lands are a jurisdictional quagmire. Sexual predators evade detection and prosecution thanks to federal laws that prohibit tribes from arresting and punishing non-native offenders on tribal land, and natives who commit serious crimes like rape and murder fall under federal jurisdiction.
Federal states attorneys who lack resources, funding, and manpower may not pursue some cases in Indian country for those reasons.
In states like California and Minnesota, state governments have taken over criminal jurisdiction on tribal lands within their borders, further complicating things. Communication between families of victims and survivors, community members, and multiple law enforcement agencies is muddled and inexcusably complex.
Some crimes against native women go unreported because many are distrustful of law enforcement and the justice system for the reasons given above, or because they fear retribution from perpetrators. Native communities and reservations are often impoverished and isolated, as well, and lack adequate law enforcement and medical facilities.
While the path to ending the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls is not clear-cut, there are things we can do, and you can help. Encourage your senators and congresspeople to pass legislation that closes the legal loopholes that allow perpetrators to roam free and prey on native women and to push for increases in funding and database access for tribes to help fight the problem on the ground.
We also need help in spreading awareness. We will continue highlighting the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women (#MMIW) and wearing red because Red is a sacred color on the medicinal wheel of my people, and it has long been used to express unity at #MMIW protests and rallies.
You can help us spread awareness about the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls by wearing red.