McCain Deplores Human Trafficking as Modern 'Slavery'

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrea Billups, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

ROCHESTER, Mich. - Republican presidential candidate John McCain called for an interagency task force to crack down on human trafficking and child pornography, noting it is a problem that harms mainly women and children around the globe but also in the U.S.

Mr. McCain, on the second day of a two-day Michigan visit, gave a broad speech yesterday morning on human rights violations and the value of liberty at a town-hall meeting at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

Noting the role of the Internet in exploiting children, the presumptive Republican nominee called human trafficking "an evil form of 21st-century slavery every bit as important as drug trafficking."

"We must do more to ensure governments that tolerate human trafficking crack down on this modern form of slavery," Mr. McCain said, defending religious liberty abroad and at home. "We can support efforts to change the economic incentives and do more to aid the victims."

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) said the Arizona senator was being hypocritical by talking about human trafficking while having opposed a study of the issue in 2001. The DNC also said one part of Mr. McCain's proposed solution, a task force on trafficking, already exists.

Mr. McCain, accompanied by wife Cindy, spoke to a crowd of about 1,500 gathered at Oakland University's Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion while making his first Michigan visit since the state's Jan. 15 primary.

He called on U.S. law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI, to join forces with the State and Justice departments in the prevention of human trafficking and the rescue of its victims.

"Accepting the degradation of values we believe are universal is to relinquish some of our own humanity," Mr. …