Nick Kristof on sex slave trafficking:
...I traveled to Cambodia because I had been shocked by what I had seen there in the 1990's. I've covered wars, but nothing shook me more than interviews with 13-year-old girls who had been sold by their parents or kidnapped by neighbors.
These days the girls are 17 rather than 13, fewer are beaten or physically imprisoned, and Cambodia's success in fighting AIDS with condoms means that sexual slavery is not necessarily a death sentence.
The progress in Cambodia is mirrored by strides elsewhere, from South Korea to Romania and the Dominican Republic. And most of the credit goes to the Bush administration, particularly its State Department's trafficking office, which is shaming and threatening countries into confronting traffickers.
President Bush's policies toward women have often been callous — cutting off, for example, funds for safe childbirth programs in Africa because of ideological disputes with sponsoring groups. But on trafficking, this administration has led the way.
Sex trafficking has become a hot issue among conservative evangelical Christians, and they have successfully pushed Mr. Bush to embrace the issue. He gave a landmark speech to the U.N. in September, and Colin Powell is moving the issue forward in a commendably bipartisan way. The new director of the trafficking office, John Miller, has bludgeoned foreign governments, telling them to curb trafficking or face sanctions.
And on the domestic front, we see this in The Corner:
In light of your postings today regarding Bush's work on sex-slavery, here is a link to an AP article published at sfgate.com (the on-line site of the San Francisco Chronicle) about a succesful prosecution of a slavery ring in the US.
In particular, I was impressed by the end of the article: "Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday said busting this ring and a forced-labor ring in American Samoa showed prosecutors were making inroads against human trafficking...
The Corner gets results.
MORE: Rich Lowry from Oct. 2003. The key legislation, "Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000" was passed in, well, 2000. Rich Lowry credits Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) and Rep. Congressman Chris Smith of NJ. Pres. Clinton got on board, although Lowry says he was not driving the bus.