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Although the US abolished slavery officially in 1865, it has never ended in practice.
In 2009, slaves still work in homes of wealthy diplomats, as farmworkers and as prostitutes on the streets.
These modern slaves often end up there as victims of human trafficking which the US state department describes as a present-day form of slavery.
It exploits people, mostly women and children, forcing them into prostitution or slave labour.
In June 2009, the state department released its ninth annual Trafficking in Persons report.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, emphasised the need for more public-private partnerships to fight modern-day slavery, but also announced that subsequent reports will rank the US, something that has not been done so far.
Joining the programme to discuss slavery and human trafficking in the US and what is to be done by the US government: Kevin Bales, the president of "Free the Slaves" in Washington DC, and Ron Soodalter. They are co-authors of The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today.
Also joining us on the programme is Luis C. deBaca, the director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the state department.
This episiode of the Riz Khan show aired on Thursday, July 30, 2009.
Source: Al Jazeera