President Bush Contribution to Fight Against Human Trafficking Significant, Opinion Piece Says
President Bush has devoted more money and attention than his predecessors to the issue of human trafficking -- which "engulfs millions of people around the world leaving many of them dead" because of AIDS-related complications "by their early 20s" -- and he's making a "historic contribution" to the fight to end the practice, columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in a New York Times opinion piece. The U.S. State Department's Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, "one of the most effective units in the U.S. government," publishes an annual report "that shames and bullies foreign governments into taking action against forced labor of all kinds," he writes. Some of the Bush administration's critics have complained that groups receiving U.S. foreign aid funding must say they oppose commercial sex work, but, without the requirement, "U.S. funds occasionally went to groups promoting prostitution," Kristof writes. Regardless of what people think of the requirement, it is "peripheral to the central challenge" of preventing girls from being forced to live in brothels and later die of AIDS-related complications, Kristof writes, concluding that on the issue of ending human trafficking, Bush is "leaving a legacy that he and America can be proud of" (Kristof, New York Times, 5/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.