In commemoration of Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11 2013, the U.S. Mission organized a conference at the American Cultural Center to initiate a discussion about the subject amongst community leaders, government officials and human rights activists.
In her speech, Deputy Chief of Mission Susan Tuller explained that the conference was initiated in response to President Obama's call to rededicate ourselves to fighting trafficking in persons. "There is still a great deal of work to be done," she said. "An estimated 27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery."
The conference began with screenings of two documentaries about human trafficking in Benin. Next, Political Officer Mackenzie Rowe outlined the U.S. government's work in addressing this problem around the world. Then three local experts, representatives of various institutions involved in the fight against human trafficking in Benin, educated the audience about their work and participated in a question and answer session.