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21st-Century Slavery

Cambodian prostitutes at a Phnom Penh slum house, in July 2002. (AP)

New York Times columnist Nick Kristof is calling for a new abolition movement: the abolition of 21st-century slavery — by which he means sex slavery.

The global sex trafficking of young girls, in numbers greater than the 19th-century Atlantic slave trade ever knew. Girls kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured, maimed and degraded, every hour of every day.

George W. Bush has made a good start on attacking the problem, Kristof says. Barack Obama, he says, should finish it.

This hour, On Point: Sex trafficking, a new century’s slaves, and a new push for abolition.

You can join the conversation. Have you seen it? In Cambodia? India? Closer to home? Is this slavery? Can we stop it?

Guests:

Joining us from New York is Nicholas Kristof, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. He’s been writing about sex trafficking for a dozen years, most recently blogging and writing a series of columns on Cambodia’s brothels. His blog includes a video, “The Face of Slavery,” about Long Pross, a young Cambodian woman who was forced into sexual slavery.

Joining us from Kolkata, India, is Ruchira Gupta, president and founder of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an organization in India which helps women out of prostitution. She won an Emmy Award for her documentary “The Selling of Innocents” on the trafficking of women and children from Nepal to India. Watch it on YouTube here.

Joining us from Washington is Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Democratic Congresswoman from New York’s 14th District, which includes parts of New York City. She is Co-Chair of the Congressional Human Trafficking Caucus and was one of the driving forces behind the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which President Bush signed into law on December 23, 2008.

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