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U.S., Ukraine Fight Human Trafficking


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko have signed a bilateral agreement to strengthen efforts against human trafficking, which the top U.S. diplomat called a "tragic worldwide blight."

One effort Clinton cited of cooperation on the issue was Ukraine's recent transfer to the United States of a trafficker who made $1 million in profits from the women he exploited.

Experts say more than 100,000 Ukrainians have been trafficked abroad and forced into indentured labor or prostitution since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

At the third meeting of the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership Commission, officials also signed a memorandum of understanding that allows the U.S. Geological Survey to assess potential energy resources in the Ukraine, including shale gas.

Clinton also said that Washington and Kyiv had also negotiated a five-year partnership to improve the delivery of health services and treatment for Ukrainians living with HIV/AIDS, as well as a $20 million program to strengthen Ukraine’s agricultural sector.

Alongside Hryshchenko, Clinton said the United States is "looking to Ukraine to continue the commitments it has made for transparent government, the rule of law, protection of freedom of speech and media, [and] comprehensive judicial reform."

compiled from agency reports