US & Canada

Obama rails against 'modern slavery' of trafficking

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Media captionPresident Barack Obama says there is no place for slavery in a civilised world

US President Barack Obama has decried human trafficking as "modern slavery", while outlining new measures to tackle the problem.

He called trafficking an "outrage", in remarks to an annual global forum organised by ex-President Bill Clinton.

International efforts were needed to help more than 20 million trafficking victims, said Mr Obama.

As he spoke, the White House unveiled steps to stop trafficking in government contracting, including overseas.

The administration's executive order also announced new training programmes for prosecutors, police officials and immigration judges, among others.

In Tuesday's speech to the Clinton Global Initiative, Mr Obama said that human trafficking "must be called by its true name: modern slavery".

Victims included abused workers who toil for little pay, boys who are turned into child soldiers, and girls sold into the sex trade.

"It is barbaric and it is evil and it has no place in a civilised world," Mr Obama said.

Trafficking endangered public health as well as fuelling violence and organised crime, he added.

In a speech earlier in the day to the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Obama stressed that the US would not allow Iran nuclear weapons.

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