WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is a time to recommit to stopping human traffickers, U.S. President Barack Obama said.
"The victims of modern slavery have many faces. They are men and women, adults and children," Obama said in a proclamation Monday declaring January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. "Yet, all are denied basic human dignity and freedom."
Even though the "dim years of chattel slavery" in the United States ended by President Abraham Lincoln's actions and the Civil War
, Obama said "the darkness and inhumanity of enslavement exists."
During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, "we acknowledge that forms of slavery still exist in the modern era, and we recommit ourselves to stopping the human traffickers who ply this horrific trade," the proclamation read.
Obama called on the global community to provide safe havens to victims and to prosecute the traffickers.
"With improved victim identification, medical and social services, training for first responders, and increased public awareness, the men, women, and children who have suffered this scourge can overcome the bonds of modern slavery, receive protection and justice, and successfully reclaim their rightful independence."
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month culminates in National Freedom Day Feb.1, Obama said.
"I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities."