President Bush says the United States is working to end the illegal trafficking and enslavement of human beings worldwide.
Speaking in Florida Friday, Mr. Bush announced 14 million dollars in new spending to help local law enforcement agencies fight the illicit trade in people for sex and forced labor. He said his administration has passed several laws aimed at punishing both the traffickers and their customers.
U.S. officials estimate up to 17,000 people are victims of human trafficking each year in the United States.
Under a new victims protection act, Mr. Bush said the United States grants special visas that give trafficking victims who cross U.S. borders the same status as refugees.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.