Global anti-slavery czar, Luis CdeBaca fights human trafficking, ignorance
Luis CdeBaca readily owns up to it: He has 84 slaves working for him. Yet he doesn’t run a sweatshop or fishing fleet in Southeast Asia or own a cocoa plantation in Africa. He doesn’t traffic women and children from Central America. In fact, he does the opposite: As the ambassador-at-large who heads the State Department’s Office to Combat and Monitor Trafficking in Persons, CdeBaca fights global slavery as President Obama’s own modern-day abolitionist.
The “84” comes from a website (www.slaveryfootprint.org) funded by the State Department where, by entering a bit of information about their lifestyles, anyone can get an idea of how many of the estimated 27 million modern-day enslaved (or, trafficked, the “less emotionally laden” modern term, CdeBaca prefers to use) people around the world it takes to produce the clothes they wear and the food and electronic gadgets they consume in their every day lives.
Getting regular people to understand that modern slavery exists and that it is connected with them via everything from the fish they eat to the minerals that help keep their cell phones from overheating “is the next frontier,” CdeBaca says, but it is a small part of what he does every day, as the coordinator of the United State’s efforts to fight slavery worldwide. Each year, his 10-year-old office produces an in-depth country-by-country report that scrutinizes local laws and victim-protection structures.
Armed with the report and ongoing investigations, CdeBaca applies diplomatic pressure on governments until they deal with the issue via laws and crackdowns. “We can actually impose sanctions, freeze military assistance,” says CdeBaca, who also works to keep companies honest.
Read the full story at Poder 360