Text: H.Res.90 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/14/2005)


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[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 90 Introduced in House (IH)]






109th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. RES. 90

          Supporting the goals and ideals of Anti-Slavery Day.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 14, 2005

   Mr. Engel (for himself, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Holt, and Mr. 
McGovern) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the 
                  Committee on International Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
          Supporting the goals and ideals of Anti-Slavery Day.

Whereas Anti-Slavery International, established in 1839 in the United Kingdom, 
        is the oldest human rights organization in the world, and has declared 
        February 27, 2005, as Anti-Slavery Day;
Whereas Free the Slaves is the United States sister organization to Anti-Slavery 
        International;
Whereas Anti-Slavery Day is dedicated to focusing attention on the existence of 
        slavery in the world today and the possibility of eradicating slavery;
Whereas, in 2005, at least 27,000,000 people are enslaved around the world;
Whereas the Declaration of Independence recognizes the inherent dignity and 
        worth of all people, and states that all people are ``created equal'' 
        and are ``endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights'', 
        which includes the right to be free from slavery and involuntary 
        servitude;
Whereas the United States outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude in 1865, 
        recognizing in the 13th amendment to the Constitution, that slavery and 
        involuntary servitude are inherently evil institutions that must be 
        abolished;
Whereas the United States and the international community have repeatedly 
        condemned slavery, involuntary servitude, and human trafficking through 
        declarations, treaties, and United Nations resolutions and reports, 
        including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1926 Slavery 
        Convention, the 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of 
        Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to 
        Slavery, the 1948 American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, 
        the 1957 Abolition of Forced Labor Convention, the International 
        Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention Against 
        Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
Whereas these prohibitions against slavery have achieved the level of customary 
        international law and have attained jus cogens status, and the practice 
        of slavery has been universally accepted as a crime against humanity;
Whereas slavery is characterized by the complete control of one person by 
        another using violence or the threat of violence, and by the use of 
        economic exploitation by one person against another;
Whereas slavery has dramatically increased worldwide in the past 50 years due, 
        in part, to the tripling of the population of the world during that 
        period, resulting in large numbers of poor and vulnerable people, the 
        economic transformation of the developing world which has increased the 
        susceptibility of such people to enslavement, and the corruption of 
        government and police forces that allows violence against such people to 
        be used with impunity even where slavery is nominally illegal;
Whereas slavery thrives in situations of conflict, social disruption, political 
        chaos, and economic crisis;
Whereas the traffic in human beings is third only to the traffic in drugs and 
        weapons in generating profits for organized crime worldwide;
Whereas between 800,000 and 900,000 of the world's slaves are estimated to be 
        trafficked across international borders each year, of whom between 
        14,500 and 17,500 are trafficked into the United States each year;
Whereas Free the Slaves' research indicates that slavery is present in most 
        countries and that slavery affects those-especially women and children--
        who are most vulnerable and have less social and economic power in their 
        communities;
Whereas education and economic empowerment, especially of women and girls, have 
        proven to be the most powerful preventative measures to combat slavery;
Whereas slavery is a global crime and is integrated into the global economy, and 
        it therefore requires a global approach for its eradication and 
        increased public education for all citizens;
Whereas goods made by slaves feed into the global economy and enter the markets 
        of the United States in violation of United States laws;
Whereas Free the Slaves, labor organizations, consumer organizations, and United 
        States industry, working with Members of Congress, have developed a 
        multi-sector approach to eradicate slavery from the product supply 
        chains of goods which prevents slavery from entering United States 
        homes;
Whereas the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the 
        Department of State coordinates United States activities in the global 
        fight against modern-day slavery;
Whereas Ambassador John R. Miller, appointed in 2004, serves as the first United 
        States Ambassador-at-Large in the Office to Monitor and Combat 
        Trafficking in Persons;
Whereas, in September 2004, the United States levied sanctions on Burma, Cuba, 
        Equatorial Guinea, North Korea, Sudan, and Venezuela for failing to meet 
        the minimum standards for combating human trafficking as outlined in the 
        Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and named Equatorial Guinea, 
        Sudan, and Venezuela eligible for such sanctions;
Whereas President George W. Bush stated in his address to the United Nations on 
        September 23, 2003, that ``Nearly two centuries after the abolition of 
        the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and more than a century after slavery 
        was officially ended in its last strongholds, the trade in human beings 
        for any purpose must not be allowed to thrive in our time''; and
Whereas former Attorney General John Ashcroft organized educational conferences 
        for local law enforcement agents to recognize incidents of human 
        trafficking when they encounter it: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved,  That--
            (1) supports the goals and ideals of Anti-Slavery Day;
            (2) requests that the President issue a proclamation 
        calling on the people of the United States to observe Anti-
        Slavery Day with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and 
        activities; and
            (3) encourages the Department of State to increase 
        cooperation with foreign governments to combat slavery, provide 
        legal protections to victims of slavery, and provide social 
        services to assist in repatriation, family reunification, and 
        exit from slavery.
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