VIENNA -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warns that human trafficking is flourishing in the shadows of the global economic downturn.
Clinton gave a video address to an international conference in Vienna examining the scourge of forced labor, sexual slavery and other forms of exploitation. She says urgent steps are needed to crack down on traffickers.
Clinton says she has seen the suffering firsthand: girls in Thailand who were trafficked as young children and are now dying of AIDS, and mothers in Eastern Europe whose daughters have vanished.
She warns that "new economic pressures are likely to aggravate the problem further."
Clinton's speech Monday kicked off a two-day conference of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe.