Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month

WHEREAS, human trafficking is a very real problem facing the world today; although it can take many forms, including debt bondage, forced marriage, slavery and commercial sexual exploitation, in every case it goes against the core principles of individual freedom and civil rights for which our state and nation stand; and

WHEREAS, due to its secretive and illegal nature, it is difficult to accurately quantify the extent of human trafficking, however, the U.S. Department of State estimates that anywhere from 10,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year; most victims of human trafficking are women or children who have been marginalized and isolated from society; and

WHEREAS, the first step in eliminating human trafficking is to educate others; through the vigilance and perseverance of our citizens, effective enforcement of justice will someday be a reality, and

WHEREAS, we ask all residents of the state of Alabama to join us in raising the visibility of this crime whose victims are all too often invisible; together, we can become more informed about this pressing issue and work to combat its injustices:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby proclaim the month of January 2013 as

Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month

in the state of the Alabama.