Friday marks Human Trafficking Awareness Day as world leaders address the growing problem of children being abused, trafficked, and sold as slaves for commercial gain.
The plight of trafficked persons has garnered a more attentive international audience, brought on by the tragic gang-rape and death of a 23-year old New Delhi, Indai woman who died in December after being brutally being beaten by her attackers.
This produced widespread protests throughout India, while advocacy groups called on leaders here in America to finally take tough, not measured, action.
"The time for political games is over. Congressional inaction on this legislation continues to weaken U.S. global leadership in the fight against modern day slavery," Jesse Eaves, Senior Policy Advisor for Child Protection of World Vision, said in a press release.
Their call is important, given that trafficking is not contained in undeveloped nations or emerging markets. It's also a problem that is plaguing leading industrialized nations as well.
Statistics show that America is failing in the fight against traffickers, given that there are an estimated 100,000 American adolescents who become victims of trafficking each year in the United States.
The White House made January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and urged businesses leaders, religious organization and citizens to become aware of how to get involved in preventing innocent children becoming victims of trafficking.
"We will continue to take action by empowering investigators and law enforcement with the training they need, and by engaging businesses, advocates, and students in developing cutting-edge tools people can use to stay safe," the White House said in a press release.
"We will invest in helping trafficking victims rebuild their lives. And as one of the world's largest purchasers of goods and services, the Federal Government will keep leading by example, further strengthening protections to help ensure that American tax dollars never support forced labor," the statement added.