Attorney General William Barr directly addressed the scourge of human trafficking in the American child welfare system in his speech at the White House summit on human trafficking.
“Emblematic in many ways is one horrific case I was briefed on recently in the Southern District of New York. A very dedicated team of prosecutors doggedly pursued a few little leads and ended up convicting 19 defendants in Manhattan with sex trafficking of minor girls and young women in the New York State child welfare system. In other words, children who society had a special obligation to protect ended up being instead exploited,” Attorney General Barr stated.
The DOJ announcement on that case makes clear the chilling level of manipulation that went into procuring sex victims from a Westchester County residential treatment facility.
The president gave special credit to White House point person Ivanka Trump and to ambassadors in the audience including Calista Gingrich, Sam Brownback, the attorneys general of Florida and Georgia, and the lieutenant governors of Florida and North Carolina. Attorney General William Barr and Vice President Mike Pence were also in attendance at the Summit.
“In the modern age, the level of evil is unbelievable,” said President Trump, who has dramatically increased human trafficking arrests.
“Human trafficking is worse than ever before…An estimated 25 million people around the world today are being held captive, manipulated or abused by human traffickers,” Trump stated.
“When I took office, ISIS controlled over 20,000 square miles…We have totally defeated the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq,” Trump said, highlighting one of the world’s worst recent offenders in the human trafficking business. ISIS also recently controlled Syrian oil wells, with the complicity of the previous Obama administration.
“I’ve signed 9 pieces of bipartisan legislation aimed specifically at combating human trafficking” domestically and internationally, President Trump said.
“And we’ll do what’s necessary. We will do exactly what’s necessary. There’s nothing more horrible than this,” Trump said.
See President Trump’s full remarks here: