Wishing Bill and Hillary Clinton a lovely and Happy Anniversary and many, many more happy and healthy years together!

Bill Cllinton and Hillary Clinton wedding photo chelsea-birth09-29-14-DM-05

This chapter is an intensely personal one for me.  Like anyone who has ever lived there, I remember exactly where I was – sitting in my car at an intersection I was at daily on my way home from work – when I heard the news of the earthquake on the radio.  As soon as I heard the magnitude, I knew what the number 7 meant.  I looked at the Getty station on the corner where I was waiting for the green light and imagined it crumbled.  I knew that many buildings I knew, loved, had been in, had lived, studied, and worked in had been destroyed.  I knew that people I cared for, had taught or studied with were gone. I was not prepared for this.
No, I had never been in the National Palace, but like the Getty station I had been next to when I heard the news, it was a building I passed four times daily on my way to and from work at the Haitian-American Institute where I taught English.  That link goes to a whole new building.  The building where I taught was an old mansion on the east end of the Champs-de-Mars on Rue Capois.  Like the National Palace, it had collapsed – probably while evening classes were going on at the busiest time of day there.


original building

On July 4,1942, Haitians and Americans founded a bi-national center to reinforce friendship and cultural ties between their two countries. Located in the heart of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian-American Institute has enjoyed decades of continuous community service and remains faithful to the ideal of its founders.

The Haitian-American Institute itself stands on a landmark site. The original building was the house that once belonged to former Haitian President Elie LESCOT. This building, pictured in the pen and ink drawing at the top of this page, was destroyed in the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

It is a bi-national center run partially by the State Department.  It’s great to see this grand new facility!

In the old building,  I loved teaching at six in the morning in the classroom on that very top floor.  You could see the city waking up.  I would walk up the many flights of stairs early just to go out on that balcony and watch for a few minutes before the students arrived.  When Dr. Ainslie Minor was director,  as was his position as Cultural Affairs officer at the embassy, he was often on the front steps to greet me and the arriving students prior to the early morning classes.  We all loved him!  He loved the institute and everything about it.  We teachers were disdained by some subsequent directors until Millie McCoo arrived.  She, too, loved the institute, the students, and the teachers.

Passing the palace, on my way to work, I was usually on foot.   I nodded to the guards in the guardhouse every day – several times a day.  I later learned that the police headquarters adjacent to the palace had also crumbled to the ground.  I was in there regularly on my annual trek through the ministries to renew my visas.

All of those ministries were gone.  So were the people in all of them.  All the people in all of those buildings.  My HAI and all of the government buildings.

It was beyond my imagination, much the way the collapse of the twin towers had been on 9/11.  I heard the news only one traffic light away from where, that September morning, I had heard that a plane had flown into One World Trade.

How could it be?  Who could have survived this?  How on earth could my poor, dear Haïti Chérie recover?

As I had over those “green weekends” in June 2009 when the Iranians were protesting their elections, I took to Twitter.  A girl had texted, trapped in rubble beneath a supermarket that I knew.  One where I had shopped.  Many of us continually retweeted her location (and many others).  24 hours later, on the news,  I saw her pulled out alive and well and wept.  The reporter said they had found her from the tweets.

That tarmac, where I had boarded and disembarked so many, many times was the tarmac where Hillary landed only five days after the worst disaster in memory in that country – the very first high foreign official to set foot on Haiti’s shaken soil after the quake.  This was no photo op or campaign junket.  Hillary’s visit was from her heart.  It was dangerous, responsive, and crucial.

That, and much more was in my heart as I started reading this chapter and Hillary’s words about landing at the airport that, when I lived there,  was named for François Duvalier and had undergone a major upgrade just before I left the country for good.



Hillary was in Hawaii on her way to Asia when the quake – that came to be known as “Haitiquake” – occurred.

Hillary Clinton: “… it is Biblical…”

Hillary had to change her plans.  She flew back to D.C. immediately.

Hillary Headed Home to Manage Help For Haiti

She was at the White House the next morning and the pain was in her face … the terrible pain.

I  followed her progress to Haiti partially thanks to Greta Van Susteren who tweeted generously from the plane where she sat beside Andrea Mitchell and less so thanks to the old State Department Twitter that went by the handle “Dipnote,” which, in retrospect,  was not so bad and pretty democratic.

When Hillary landed I thought of her as really and truly “superwoman.”   I am sure the Americans at the airport waiting to be evacuated thought of her that way too – or as an angel of mercy.

She was landing on menacingly shaky ground. People who demand further service from her ought to consider the risks she has already taken, the sacrifices she has already endured,  the time in the air and on sometimes dangerous foreign soil,  away from her family.  When does this “superwoman” get a chance to step back and let someone else take the reins?

Hillary Clinton, Angel of Mercy: Her Press Conference & Details on her trip to stricken Haiti

The guy with the argumentative comment on that post was wrong.  She did come in by military transport, as I had predicted. She brought needed supplies and left the press entourage behind to bring injured Americans out.  The purpose of her visit was to get an agreement from the President of Haiti to allow American military to take over the airport operations so that aid – waiting and blocked – could begin to flow.  Sometimes, in a disaster, you must, judiciously, let one important visitor in for the greater good.  Haiti was no textbook case.  Who knew there was such a thing as a portable airport control tower?  That is what the FAA sent and that would not have happened without Hillary’s intervention and visit, i.e.  sometimes more is more.

Video: Hillary Clinton’s Press Briefing about her trip to Haiti

Hillary Clinton is Wheels down in Haiti (MSNBC)

Video: Hillary Clinton Arriving in Haiti

Hillary to the rescue!

Video: Hillary Clinton Speaks to The Haitian People

Over the course of some of those posts I heard from some aircraft experts that I had misidentified the plane as a C-130, but Hillary, in her book, validates me.  Sometimes it takes years to be validated!  My dad was an aircraft expert, not I.  He built them and knew anything that was in the air that was not flapping its own wings.  But once you have been floating on the Hudson River and seen a C-130 over your head on its way to Newburgh, you know one when you see one.  It’s sort of like the Queen Mary over your head.

Hillary Clinton in Haiti: Some Images From Today

Hillary was accompanied by Cheryl Mills and USAID Director Rajiv Shah (2nd and 1st on the right respectively above).  Cheryl, from what Hillary says, must have been the one who got the “people-finder” set up as well as the text system for sending donations easily from your cell phone.

Rajiv was on the ground at the Champs-de-Mars in front of the collapsed National Palace where it seemed much of the Port-au-Prince population was camping out.  I remember him finding some enterprising young folks who had managed to have two car batteries and one car.  They had set up an enterprise allowing people, for a fee, to charge cell phones off one car battery while another of the crew ran a taxi service to charge the other battery.   It was so Haitian!

Secretary Clinton Announces Launch of State.Gov Person Finder Tool for Those Missing in Haiti

So this is where she starts – on the tarmac which is serving as the seat of government largely because it is flat and open and if you sit in a tent and there is a big aftershock you won’t be crushed.  Most roads were impassable and for the first 48 hours, planes could not land at the airport.


Secretary Clinton’s Daily Appointments Schedule for January 15, 2010

Hillary reminisces at this point about her honeymoon trip to Haiti when she and Bill went to one of Max Beauvoir‘s voudou shows at Le Péristyle in Mariani and saw TonTons Macoutes  (VSN) and Jean-Claude Duvalier en route somewhere.  1975 was the first Christmas that I came back home – well to Florida where my sister was living. –  or maybe I would have met them.

After the earthquake, President Préval told Cheryl Mills that he really needed Hillary and needed her now!  He was Hillary’s friend.  He needed help.  I perceived him as a nice guy, but not as a strong leader.

Hillary Clinton is NOT the President of Haiti!

In retrospect and fairness, and after having had my own house blown apart by Sandy, I have to say that at the time I probably did not appreciate Préval’s state of mind with his house having collapsed before his eyes (and thankfully not over his head) just as he and his wife were about to enter.  With most of his government officials missing or already known dead, the poor guy must have been in deep shock. When you go through something like that having a buddy like Hillary – well – yes, I would call her, too.  If I needed to pull my country together after something like that – yes, I too would call her.  But Hillary also sees that there was a need for him to go out among the people camping on the Champs-de-Mars and everywhere.   Their question/complaint at the time was “Where is our president?”

When you run for the office, before you even win, you need to consider this kind of situation and how you will react – even if you did just miss having your house fall on top of you.  That is the role you assume as leader of a country.

Try to imagine the White House or the Capitol this way.  This is what happened to Haiti.

When Hillary arrived,  injured Americans were being cared for by a devoted embassy nurse who worked non-stop.  Our Cultural Affairs officer, Victoria DeLong,  had been killed when her house collapsed on her.  I had been in that house several times on very happy occasions.  Dr. Ainslie Minor and his lovely wife, and later Millie McCoo had generously invited the teachers to barbeques and parties.  I had danced the merengue under that roof and met Millie’s sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.,  there.  Now that roof had killed a Foreign Service officer.

There was a massive and effective U.S. response. Hillary remarks that U.S. military felt so refreshed at being welcomed somewhere.

One year we had no electricity from the last night of Carnaval in early February until about mid-June.  The lights went out when Carnaval ended at midnight. From then on sectors got one hour of electricity a day on a rotating weekly basis.  If you needed to do anything that required power, you needed to be home at your hour for that week.  If you were working at that time … too bad.  From Boutillier, the mountaintop above the city, you could see a sector darken and another light up on a clockwork schedule.

Then the United States Marines arrived with generators and I don’t know what all else.  I would be leaving my early morning classes at the institute (we taught from 6 -9 a.m. and from 3 – 6 p.m. or 4 – 7 p.m.) and they would be on the steps of the Hotel Plaza waiting to be picked up.  We cheered them every time we passed them.  “Thank you!”  Our electricity was returning.  Nice that after the earthquake the troops got the same reception.  We have a sort of edgy relationship with Haiti as far as troops go. Americans built the best roads there – during the occupation.

In this case, the distrust engendered by the history of the occupation could have been Préval’s political enemy.  Yet to unblock the shipments of aid at the airport and seaports someone needed to be in charge – not to take over the country – just to lubricate the flow of aid.  Hillary got Préval to sign an agreement that U.S. military would, temporarily in the emergency,  administer the airport and seaports.

Hillary Clinton is Wheels Up!

The plan was to establish camps.  Préval worried that putting displaced people in camps would make camps permanent.  The U.N. contended that camps provided the best efficiency for necessary distribution of aid.

To my mind, and this is just me, the camps were newer, safer, cleaner than the neightborhoods some people had come from,  like Cité Soliel, but many were not from those slums, so there was something to be said on each side of the argument.

For Haiti, the approach would involve both short-term aid and long-term plans for development that had already been in the incubator.

Bill Clinton Arrives on Mission to Haiti (CBS/AP)

On-the-Record Briefing on Consular Services Being Provided to American Citizens in Haiti and in the United States in the Aftermath of the Earthquake

U.S. Government Response to the Haiti Earthquake

Secretary Clinton’s Update on Haiti

The outpouring of support and assistance from around the world has been extraordinary, and I’ve been very proud to see generous Americans from every corner of our country open their hearts in solidarity with the Haitian people. These are the times when we remember our common humanity, when we pull together across cultures and borders to help those suffering and in need.

Hilary Rodham Clinton

Secretary Clinton at the Ministerial Preparatory Conference on Haiti 01.25.2010

Today, Secretary Clinton announced that she will run an International Haiti Donors Conference in March at the U.N. You may remember her words at the Haiti Donors Conference last April in D.C. That speech was simply spot-on.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to Haiti Earthquake Volunteers

From U.S. Department of State: Some Details on the Upcoming International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti

We have had over 140 nations working to support the Government of Haiti in delivering food, temporary shelter, and medical care to thousands of survivors. But the emergency relief is only the beginning of what will be a long road to recovery, as the Secretary General just pointed out; one that will require global support.

Some people wonder, “Why Haiti? Why this great outpouring of international humanitarian concern and commitment to Haiti’s future? Why is Haiti’s fate of such consequence to the region and the world that it deserves sustained help? Why should we hope that this time, with our collective assistance, Haiti can achieve a better future?” These are questions that deserve answers and I believe that this conference will begin to do so…

Before the earthquake, Haiti was on a path to progress. The government, led by President Preval, had started enacting critical reforms. Haiti’s economy grew by nearly 3 percent last year. Two international chains launched new hotels, a sign of a rising tourism industry. New factories were opening and others had been contracted to begin production. But with the earthquake, the results of much of this hard work were wiped away. But the people of Haiti never gave up. As they mourn their losses, they gathered the resources they had left and began working around the clock to put their lives and their country back together. They relied on the strength and the spirit that have carried them through tough times before. But they need our help. They cannot succeed without the support of the global community, and we need Haiti to succeed. What happens there has repercussions far beyond its borders.

Hillary sees development as a key component in national security and USAID as an essential agency which played a huge role in addressing long-term plans to assist Haiti.  She recounts the war against USAID waged by Jesse Helms and celebrates this initiative which she and Rajiv Shah initiated in 2011 and she proudly saw launched earlier this year.

Hillary Clinton at U.S. Global Development Lab Inauguration

A year after the earthquake, Hillary returned to see the progress of the response (including to the subsequent cholera epidemic) and met with the presidential candidates.   There remained many challenges but things looked greatly improved.

Hillary Clinton in Haiti

“Shifting our focus from aid to development … The United States was not abandoning traditional aid … especially as part of an emergency response … we sought to break the cycle of dependence that aid can create …. Aid chases need; investment chases opportunity.” (Hard Choices)

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the Caracol Industrial Park Opening Ceremony in Haiti (with Bill Clinton!)

She recounts a personal moment with Préval after the disputed elections and credits him for being the exemplar – the first in Haitian history – to turn over the reins of leadership peacefully to  a successor not of his backing but chosen by the people.  When she speaks of the toughness of democracy, the danger of the running and the peril of the vote,  my memory rewinds to the Aristede election when Haitians literally risked their lives at the polling places and some were, in fact attacked and killed just for trying to vote.  This time, indeed, there was progress, and despite everything Préval might not have been, he, maybe, is their John Adams in some ways.

These images of the former and current presidents, Préval and Martelly, celebrating at the Caracol opening together were historic.

Rene Preval And Michel Martelly At Caracol Industrial Park Inauguration

Haiti - Politic : Martelly gives the brace to René Préval (speech)

In the book,  Hillary provides a thorough and fair accounting of what has worked and what has not in the aftermath of this disaster.  Shortly after she returned to the department following her health crisis in late 2012, this report was issued.

Haiti Three Years After: What Hillary Clinton’s State Department Has Done

Helping other nations build, profit, and rise among the economic powers on the globe is to everyone’s advantage, Hillary posits.  Especially our own.  In the case of Haiti’s disaster, the U.S. was, it cannot be disputed, the indispensable nation, but we were certainly not alone in the aid or in the investment, and that, Hillary points out, makes all the difference.


Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>



You can sign this card and send your own message to Hillary here >>>>






Paid for by EMILY’s List, http://www.emilyslist.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


At Constitution Hall in Philadelphia this evening, Hillary rallied women behind gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.

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Once again, thanks to Ruby Cramer for sharing this account.

Hillary Clinton Finds Her Message

Working families are the focus at a rally for Tom Wolf in Philadelphia — her first big political speech since last year. “It is past time for a fresh start.” posted on Oct. 9, 2014


Univision Focuses on Early Learning During Education Week

All this week, Too Small to Fail media partner Univision and its affiliate stations across the country are participating in the network’s fourth annual Education Week, a multimedia campaign on education that spans across television, radio, digital and community events.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with them on this effort. During Education Week, Univision affiliates across the country deliver compelling stories, important research and useful resources to help Hispanic families better engage their children’s education for success in school and beyond. This week, popular shows like “Primer Impacto”, “Hoy” and “Aqui y Ahora”, are showing viewers how to talk, read and sing with young children every day, and how those activities develop language and early learning skills.

An important message throughout some of this programming is how dual language learners—children whose families speak a language other than English at home—benefit greatly from being spoken to in their parent’s native language. As we have highlighted in the past, children who are exposed to more than one language typically develop stronger math and reading skills in English, are more creative thinkers, and problem-solve better than monolingual children. But this advantage is strongest when children hear many words from parents and caregivers, so they can develop a large vocabulary in their home language as well as in English.

We’re sharing this week’s Education Week programming in our social media, as well as information about dual language learners from researchers and other partners. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook, or by using #ClaveAlExito!


Resources for Sharing:

  • This Univision page includes listings for Education Week programming.
  • Five tips for parents about dual language learning, and how to encourage vocabulary development in young children.
  • This op-ed from Cindy McCain and Roberto Llamas of Univision explains why it’s important for parents to talk, read and sing frequently to their children—in any language.


An animated video featuring famous bilingual singer and author Jose Luiz Orozco. >>



Love these innovative investments to close the & opportunity gap for Chicago kids cc

Pritzker-led group sinks $16.9 million into pre-K for poor Chicago kids

A group of private investors, led by Chicago billionaire J.B. Pritzker, will invest $16.9 million in an innovative financing scheme that allows Chicago to expand pre-kindergarten programs for more than 2,000 low-income children over the next four years.

If it works, in terms of reducing the future costs of special education and remedial programs, the investors aim to get their money back, plus interest, but at no cost to taxpayers. The financing technique is sometimes called a “social impact bond” or “pay for success” financing.

In this scenario, Chicago Public Schools will get about a third of the savings generated if the program succeeds, with the rest going to pay back investors.

Read more >>>>

Proud to launch a new toolkit at to help pediatricians & parents talk, read & sing to babies:

Hillary and Pat Quinn both spoke at the AdvaMed 2014  Conference in Chicago today.  She also appeared at a fundraiser for him and stopped off at a local Barnes & Noble to sign copies of Hard Choices.

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The chapter begins in Algeria, a key partner on many fronts and one, like many, that could do with some improvements on the human rights side of the page.  Near the end of her tenure as secretary of state, she traveled to Algeria with, as always, a checklist of items to be addressed.  One, not mentioned in this brief statement beside President Bouteflika, was the consideration of a GE bid on a contract for power plants while American industry competed with state-run operations that played by rules different from ours or, in some cases, ignored the rules entirely.

Hillary Clinton With Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

The published remarks were meager, but the meeting was three hours long. Months afterwards, GE was awarded the contract Hillary was promoting.  Generators and turbines being built in the U.S. for this contract support thousands of manufacturing jobs here.  This, Hillary tells us, is why energy and economics must be at the heart of diplomacy.

She tells us that on accepting her post in 2009 she was faced by two major questions:

  1. Could we build and sustain good jobs at home and speed up the economy by opening new markets and boosting exports?
  2. Were we going to let China and other relatively closed markets perpetually rewrite the rules to the disadvantage of our industries and workers

The global financial crisis, she explains, brought trade, energy, and economics within her purview as it had not been for prior secretaries of state.  She dubbed it “economic statecraft” and urged diplomats to make it a priority.

Hillary outlined her argument for fair trade agreements to be presented in Hong Kong later that month at this event in July 2011.

Secretary Clinton at the 2011 U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) Conference

Our foreign policy must be a force for economic renewal here at home. We all know that families are struggling to get back on their feet after the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. We all know we face genuine economic competition in more sectors, from more companies, from more places than ever before, whether it’s from Indian pharmaceutical companies or Brazilian jet manufacturers. And all of us here today recognize that a strong economy at home is vital to America’s leadership in the world. Now there will be many prescriptions for what is needed. My plea is that the prescriptions be evidence-based and not ideological or even theological, as sometimes they seem to be….

In Hong Kong later this month, I’ll be speaking about the rules and values that support our global economic order. And this fall, I plan to give a larger address on economics and America’s strategic choices. But today, I want to tell you about how we are using the tools of our foreign policy to create American jobs.

Then she went on the world stage with her case, as she recounts.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on Principles for Prosperity in the Asia Pacific

The United States approaches this question with great humility, and with hard-won lessons learned from overcoming difficult economic challenges throughout our history.

We must start with the most urgent task before us: realigning our economies in the wake of the global financial crisis. This means pursuing a more balanced strategy for global economic growth – the kind that President Obama and President Hu Jintao have embraced, and the G20 is promoting…

Last March in APEC meetings in Washington, I laid out four attributes that I believe characterize healthy economic competition. And these are very simple concepts, easy to say, hard to do: open, free, transparent, and fair. Hong Kong is helping to give shape to these principles and is showing the world their value…

… all who benefit from open, free, transparent, and fair competition have a vital interest and a responsibility to follow the rules. Enough of the world’s commerce takes place with developing nations, that leaving them out of the rules-based system would render the system unworkable. And that, ultimately, that would impoverish everyone.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sp

Her words were preempted and shadowed by the debt-ceiling debate in Washington.  Hillary, in Hong Kong was greeted with questions about U.S. solvency and bravely assured that of course we pay our debts secretly praying that we would. Her words in the book eloquently communicate her level of frustration with the situation in which her government in D.C. had placed her.  “Period.”

Donald Tsang Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang (

She was putting on a confident face for all of us, but she should not have had to.  The meeting with Donald Tsang (above) was one thing.   The subsequent one with Dai Bingguo was another.  Amid the customary smiles, she ended that meeting telling him, “We could spend the next six hours talking about China’s domestic challenges.”

Dai Bingguo, Hillary Rodham Clinton Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (R) Dai Bingguo, Hillary Rodham Clinton

For Hillary, export promotion was a personal mission.  Not just the big companies, the small ones, too.  Her persistence with Russia won a Boeing contract.  Not immediately.  It took time, but it succeeded.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Following Tour of Boeing Design Center

Among the very successful initiatives was “Open Skies” which reached 100 partners in early 2011, provides for direct flights,  bolsters local economies by hundreds of millions of dollars, and supports thousands of jobs.  (Go to Hillary for the wonky numbers.)

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Celebration of 100 Open Skies Partners

Discussing labor, transported jobs, and low standard working conditions, she also addresses forced labor and human trafficking.  She relates stories of horrendous working conditions as told to her on this visit.

Hillary Clinton in Cambodia Part 3: Siem Reap Center Visit Slideshow



Watching Al Jazeera, I learned about this.  Oddly, one woman says she makes her little boys do this to finance her daughter’s education.  It is dangerous – deadly.  Some boys are badly disabled very young, and the horses are so little and are beaten – hit on the face and abused.  The old men say this is tradition.  Like many supposed traditions, much about this is downright criminal.  Hillary does not mention it.  As far as I know she might never have heard of it since the story came out today.  I thought I would add it here since  the subject of forced child labor is prominent here.

Forced labor, child and animal abuse in one “traditional” package.  If Hillary saw this, I am sure she is having a fit!   Today I saw these disturbing figures from the Department of Labor: 168 million children worldwide engaged in manual labor; 85 million in hazardous labor.  This happens, of course, because of limited earning options for adults.


Horse Play: Child Jockeys in Indonesia

Written by  Fri,08 November 2013 | 16:30

Horse Play: Child Jockeys in Indonesia

In the remote eastern part of Indonesia, children as young as four or five work as professional child jockeys.  On the island of Sumba, famous for its horses, racing festivals are recently held.

Earlier this month, a race in the east of the island lasted 11 days and attracted nearly 600 horses.

And all the jockeys were under 11 years old…

I meet one of them, 7-year-old Ade… who comes below my waist.

He’s putting on a balaclava so I can now just see his eyes and mouth. He’s also wearing a small helmet and no shoes.

He has a black eye from when he fell off a horse and he has been doing this job since he was four.

Ade doesn’t own a horse. So he is here hoping someone will hire him as their jockey.

Read more >>>>

Hillary mentions that she added the U.S. to the annual trafficking in persons report.  This was not a popular move when she initiated it.  It ruffled a lot of feathers, but her argument for doing so is hard to refute.  She brought in Lou CdeBaca to address this.

Hillary Clinton Releases the Ninth Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

… I’m especially pleased that our new Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, the new director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons here at the State Department was confirmed in time for him to be part of this ceremony…

We are including more information about the United States in our report. I believe when you shine a bright light you need to shine it on everyone, and we will rank ourselves. We believe we’re Tier 1, but we will rank ourselves next year in the report so that we have done our duty as well.

You see some of the reactions to her addition of the U.S. in this post.when she released the report the next year.

Secretary Clinton Announcing the Release of the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report

Today we release the 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report. I remember very well when we got the wheels in motion for this process because we wanted to document the persistent injustice of modern slavery. We wanted to tell the stories of men, women, boys, and girls held in forced labor or sexual servitude around the world. And for the first time ever, we are also reporting on the United States of America because we believe it is important to keep the spotlight on ourselves.

Hillary Clinton Releases 10th Annual Trafficking In Persons Report

Secretary Clinton at Release of Trafficking In Persons Report 2011

Hillary Clinton Releases 2012 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report

Hillary Clinton’s Townterview in Bangladesh

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) My name is Alia Atta. I am the general secretary for BGIF. We work with workers’ rights. And there we face all kinds of obstructions with the police, goons, thugs, and false allegations in court. And, in fact, one of our leaders, Aminul Islam, was very brutally murdered. With such conditions, how can we work with the cause of workers’ rights? Thanks.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. (Applause.) And – well, first let me say that I spoke out strongly to point that there needed to be an independent investigation into the murder of Mr. Islam, because certainly his family and his colleagues deserve answers about what happened to him. So on that particular case, this is a real test for the government and for the society to make sure you don’t say that anyone can have impunity. That’s a key issue for the rule of law.

Secondly, on your larger question, the history of labor rights and labor unions in any developing society is always difficult. There are strong forces that oppose workers being organized. We have this in my own country. You go back to the 19th and the early 20th century when labor unions were just getting started, there were goons, there were thugs, there were killings, there were riots, there were terrible conditions. We passed laws at the beginning of the 20th century against child labor, against too many hours for people to work, but that took time. It took time to develop a sense of political will to address those issues. So you are beginning that, and it’s a very important struggle. I think in today’s world, everything is accelerated because everything is known. There are no secret issues that can’t be exposed. There are exposes about factories from China to Latin America. So you are doing very important work. Do not be discouraged or intimidated. But you deserve to have the support of your government and your society.

The third point I would make is that we have worked from Colombia to Cambodia with the owners of factories and other enterprises to help them understand how they can continue to make a very good profit while treating their workers right. And in fact, we have spent a lot of time trying to help owners of businesses understand how to do that. And it’s worked. And we have people who are quite experts in that.

For many years, Colombia, the country in South America that has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world right now, had hundreds of labor organizers killed. And they were killed by economic forces and political forces that didn’t want to share power, didn’t want to share profits, who didn’t see that that was part of the obligation of democracy and society. So we have seen this happen all over the world, and we stand ready to work with factory owners and labor organizers to have a better dialogue, to understand what can work, and then to help you implement it.

So I thank you for raising it because it’s a part of becoming a middle class country. Workers deserve to have their labor respected and fairly paid for. Factory owners deserve to have what they pay for, which is an honest day’s work for the wages that they pay. So there is a way to accommodate those interests, and we’ve seen it, and we can continue to work with you to try to achieve it.



On the topic of energy, Hillary mentions what she calls “the resource curse”  – her term for resources engendering corruption and uses Nigeria as an example of a country where she repeatedly warned that corruption needed to be tackled and the profits from resources fairly distributed.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall in Nigeria

Hillary Clinton With Nigerian Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe

Hillary Clinton Pays a Visit to Nigeria Speaks with President Jonathan


One energy issue Hillary addressed through the Clinton Foundation was that of toxic fuels for cooking.  She provides statistics revealing the global health threat posed by cooking in unventilated areas using toxic fuels, a problem that led her to a solution.

Secretary Clinton Announces the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Clinton Global Initiative

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Clinton Global Initiative

Before we even get to the chapter on Haiti, I can attest to one other problem created by the use of charcoal there.  Deforestation.  The mountains are denuded and whenever there are big tropical storms and hurricanes, the floods and torrents are deadly.  It is not a direct threat from the toxic fuels (that exists as well of course), but represents danger to life and limb.

Secretary Clinton and Julia Roberts Joint Op-Ed: ‘Clean stoves” would save lives, cut pollution

Secretary Clinton’s Video Remarks for NIH Cookstove Workshop

Secretary Clinton Recruits Seven More African Allies for Clean Cookstoves

Hillary Clinton Assumes Leadership Chair at Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Hillary ends this chapter with an eloquent argument for the growth of a global middle class that will ensure our own growth, more common ground with our international neighbors, and, a a result, a more secure America in the future.


Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>




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