U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released online from January 1, 1997 to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for current material from the Department of State. Or visit http://2001-2009.state.gov for information from that period. Archive sites are not updated, so external links may no longer function. Contact us with any questions about finding information. NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Interview by Oprah Winfrey
January 17, 2001, Chicago, Illinois
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Blue Line

MS. WINFREY: This is as sick as it gets. Around the world, even right here in America, women, young girls, forced into sexual slavery. One survivor sold at age nine confirms the horror. Undercover cameras go inside the brothels where women held captive live a nightmare.

VOICE: Nothing prepared me for what I was going to see. Pictures don't lie.

MS. WINFREY: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright exposes the ugly truth.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: "I never, ever thought I'd see the kinds of things I've seen."

MS. WINFREY: It's 2001. Sex slaves? How can this be?

Well, millions of women every year are being sold into sexual slavery, and it's even happening right here in America. We are going to show you a videotape of the actual brothels where women, young children, are held against their will, made to service 10 to 20 men a day in rooms the size of closets.

My first guest, who is one of the most powerful women in the world, calls it the new form of slavery. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is here, and in just a few moments we're going to talk with her about specific things that you can do.

Throughout the show we're going to give you specific ways that you can begin to do something, take action, so get a pencil ready for all the dot coms.

Just days before the highest ranking woman in the history of the US Government, the highest ranking, leaves office, we spent a day in Washington with Madame Secretary.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: "The alarm goes off around 5 o'clock, and then I do go down and I make a cup of coffee and read the papers, and then I'm in the office usually sometime between 7:30 and a quarter of 8:00."

"Good morning. Thank you. That's what I need every morning. All right, we're behind schedule."

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARPENTER: Her schedule is non-stop. Today we're going to start with an intelligence briefing, then a security briefing, two things she does every day.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: "I think it's very important. We've made a commitment. It needs to be done."

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARPENTER: She then will have a working breakfast with a number of prominent officials. She is scheduled to have several interviews.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: "We represent the most powerful country in the world."

"This picture was taken at Camp David when the President is teaching me to bowl. What is fun is, as I look at these portraits, they are obviously portraits of old, white men. It is fun to think that I'm going to be part of this gallery."

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARPENTER: She will be having a luncheon with her successor, Secretary-designate Powell.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: "There you are. Good to see you."

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARPENTER: She has had a couple of phone calls with foreign counterparts, the British and German foreign ministers.

VOICE: Foreign Minister Cook is going to be available for a call at 2:00 p.m. We've got some points that include the Middle East peace process update and Iraq.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: "This is my little Saddam Hussein corner. He called me a witch, and so I started collecting these witch puppets."

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARPENTER: A swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. She ends up with a couple of other in-house meetings. At the end of the day, she is attending a dinner in honor of one of her departing Assistant Secretaries.

VOICE: Madame Secretary, thank you for coming.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARPENTER: I have no idea how she does this. It's remarkable what her stamina is.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: "I think I've had a good run. Would I like to do it forever? You bet. Because I think it's the best job in the world. It makes me very proud to be a part of American history, truly proud. And I think I have made a difference, so I feel good.

MS. WINFREY: Okay, we'll never say we're busy again. Please welcome Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.


SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: It's great to see you.

MS. WINFREY: So with only a few days remaining in office for you, are you sad? Are you pensive? Are you somewhat relieved? What are you feeling, really?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Probably all those things. I've had a wonderful time. This is the world's best job.


SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Because representing America is one of the great honors of all time, and I have really given it my all. I feel that I've kind of spent every -- probably 18 hours every day working on this, and I feel good about it. So I'm sorry to leave it. But democracy is that these jobs are all temporary. We are stewards of a job and of democracy. We move on; somebody else takes it up. And Colin Powell is a good friend. I think he's going to do an excellent job, and I'm looking forward to supporting him.

MS. WINFREY: We saw you having a briefing with him, lunch with him. What have you told him about the position?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I've told him it's the best job in the world, but it is more difficult than it looks. And that it requires a lot. And the thing that I said to him, because he is so experienced, is that it is quite different than when he left the government six years ago or seven years ago.

MS. WINFREY: You must have been reflecting about your best days, worst days. What has been the best day in office for you? What are you most proud of?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, it really was on the day that democracy came to Yugoslavia, because I had worked very hard on the Balkans. And Milosevic, the dictator there, had called me a lot of terrible names and --

MS. WINFREY: So you're not a woman who can get upset about what other people think.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: No, definitely not.

MS. WINFREY: You're not a woman who has a disease to please.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: No. People have said I had a thin skin. And the reason I look fatter is I've developed a thicker skin.


MS. WINFREY: Because you've had to. And when Saddam Hussein calls you a witch, that's --

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: That's an honor.

MS. WINFREY: That's an honor.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: And I have kept a -- you saw that thing with the witches. But somebody sent me a broom and said, you know, since I was a witch I needed a broom. I have that now prominently displayed. And I think you're known not only by your friends but by your enemies, and he's as good an enemy as any.

MS. WINFREY: Well, the other day we had the opportunity to speak to one of the men you worked with who knows you very, very well, the most famous boss in the world. Take a look at what he had to say about you.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Hi, Madeleine. You remember me, you know, your boss. I mean for three more days you have to do what I say. Therefore, I'm ordering you to be straight with Oprah. Tell her and her millions of viewers what a wonderful job you've done serving America these last eight years. And in case you're too modest to that, even with my order, I think I'll tell them myself.

First, you never get tired. Oprah should make you tell your secret because you keep on moving when just about everybody else is run down.

Second, you're tough. Whether the issue is stopping ethnic cleansing in the Balkans or pursuing peace in the Middle East or pressing for democracy in Burma, you take a position, defend it, stick with it and follow it through. That's called leadership, and you've shown it every day you've been in office.

Third, you've broadened our whole definition of what foreign policy is all about. You've brought efforts to improve the lives of women and girls into the mainstream of foreign policy, and I'm glad Hillary has helped you on that.

You've helped Americans understand that the spread of AIDS is not just a matter of national empathy but national interest. You championed with passion the cause of human rights in every part of the world. And through the drama of your life story, you've helped to see why it is so important that America continue to stand up to evil, to oppose intolerance, to work with others to make the world a more peaceful, just and prosperous place.

Few people understand America's purpose and promise better than those who have seen it as you through the eyes of a child who escaped central Europe on the eve of the Holocaust, live through the Blitz in London, felt the rise of communism, and then at the ripe old age of 11 found freedom and security in our midst. We're proud that when the world looks at us, the greatest and the most powerful democracy in the world, it now sees a woman who was once a refugee speaking with clarity and compassion about where we stand and what we stand for.

Madeleine, I am very grateful to you and so, I'm sure, are the American people and indeed all people who love freedom anywhere around the world. Thank you, friend.

MS. WINFREY: That is very nice.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I obviously haven't seen that before, and the President should not make his Secretary of State cry.

MS. WINFREY: I hadn't seen it before either. That was really beautiful, Mr. President.

So what did you think when you first met him? Wasn't there an incident where you were someplace and he was in the room, and you walked back into the room and he finished The New York Times puzzle?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Yes, well, he does that. He --

MS. WINFREY: And you said to someone, "That's a really smart guy in there"?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, he certainly can do The New York Times puzzle within an hour or even shorter, and he very rarely has to ask anybody anything. But he does it at the same time that he's listening about a lot of different issues. He is an amazing human being. He is, I think, going to go down as one of America's greatest Presidents because he has understood the soul of America, and he has been able to explain it to other people.

MS. WINFREY: So when I was asking you about some of the things that he mentioned -- I don't know how many of you get to travel around the world -- but you travel around the world -- like this past holiday I was in South Africa and other places, and when you land in the United States again, no matter where you go in the world, there is something really -- it's hard not to believe -- there's something about landing on this soil because there is no greater place on Earth than the United States.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I agree with you. And I go abroad -- I can't -- well I've now traveled over a million miles, so I've been --

MS. WINFREY: Boy, could you clean up on frequent flyer miles.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I could if that were --

MS. WINFREY: You could if you weren't flying in --

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I fly in a plane that says "The United States of America," which is pretty great. But every time I come in, every single time that I'm greeted when I come back in, I just feel so good because this is a completely unique country.

MS. WINFREY: We'll be back with more Madeleine Albright. You'll hear about the day she came face to face with her ex-husband in the most unusual circumstance.

(Commercial break.)

MS. WINFREY: We are back with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the most powerful woman in the world, at least for the next few days.

So what I wanted to ask you, 23 years of marriage, your husband comes home -- I've heard many of those stories on the Oprah show -- husband comes home and says I don't want to be married anymore, is there a resolve inside yourself? Did you feel, well, I'll show you, I'll become Secretary of State. Or do you sit at home and cry like a lot of women do?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, it was in stages. It never occurred to me that I would be Secretary of State. But I was devastated. And here, I was a woman. I had a terrific education. I had a Ph.D., and I was not one of these people that didn't have money because that was not my problem, and I got a good job. But I felt awful because I felt it was something that I had done.

MS. WINFREY: That you hadn't done enough.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Whatever. That I -- I think if anybody's divorced in this audience, they know what I'm talking about. But it took me a while, and then I decided I couldn't go on like that, that I had to pull myself together. My daughters were fabulous because they really were very supportive. And then I started doing things, and I felt really good about it. And being Secretary of State is pretty good.

MS. WINFREY: Pretty good. That is the best when you can say, well, look at me now.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Especially when your husband is a reporter and has to cover you. Your ex-husband.

MS. WINFREY: That is the best. Okay, so tell me what that was like, the very first time he's covering you.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, it was a little strange, because the way things are set up for a press conference -- the first time this happened was in Helsinki, and we were with the President, and there were other members of the National Security team there. But because I'm Secretary of State and the highest ranking person in terms of foreign policy, all the questions were to me. And I kind of knew that he was in the audience watching, and it was a little strange.

MS. WINFREY: Is it a strange or is it just the moment -- did you have one of those look at me now? That's fabulous. That's great.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: You know, there are a lot of people who think that I thought I'd be Secretary of State from the moment I was born. It never occurred to me. First of all, I wasn't born here. Second, I could see I am very much a product of the fifties, and women didn't have these kinds of jobs. But I basically kept working. And it wasn't until the President called and asked me to do the job that I actually believed I could be Secretary of State. And every day I still pinch myself.

MS. WINFREY: Have you ever been afraid physically for yourself, for your life?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I actually haven't. That is what I've been really, really surprised about. First of all, I'm protected by fabulous people. But I also discovered in myself more physical courage than I thought I had -- you have no choice -- and I didn't know that about myself.

I also didn't realize that I could really look at terrible things. I mean I have seen some terrible things in terms of graves being excavated, skeletons lying around and -- I never ever thought I'd see the kinds of things I've seen.

When I was in Sierra Leone, I went to a clinic where there were a group of people who didn't have any legs because they had been chopped off. And then there were a group of people that you reach out to shake hands with them and they have no hands. And this was due because the Revolutionary Front there just chopped people's hands off or arms. I held a child that was three years old who just had her arm cut off for no visible reason. So the crimes against humanity are stunning. And one of the reasons that I think I'm so glad I've had a chance to be here with Oprah is for people to understand that this does affect the United States, and not just because we're kindhearted, because we are, but because the disruption that it causes in a country when they have to deal with this kind of thing, then causes political disruption and generally creates instability which is bad for the United States.

MS. WINFREY: I know we were talking during the commercial break, because I just came back from Botswana, about how one out of three people in Botswana has AIDS. And they are trying to do something about it, but one out of three people in Botswana has AIDS. And how we live in America and feel like that's over there, that's Africa, that's not going to affect us. But when it then does start to have an impact on us, everybody's going to be like well, what can we do, when the time to do something is now. They're going to have a million children orphaned because of AIDS this year.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: And it will affect us. I mean I find it very hard to separate because I know that most of the Americans I talk to really do feel humanely about this, that it isn't a selfish issue. For those people who don't understand foreign policy and you think foreign policy is foreign and has nothing to do with their lives, you have to say okay, so that HIV/AIDS person may come in contact with an American and it comes home here to America. Or drugs. Some people say why do we care about drugs in Colombia? Because those drugs come to the United States. That is a foreign policy issue. Foreign policy is not foreign to the American people. It can't be.

MS. WINFREY: Have you ever been intimidated?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Not really anymore.

MS. WINFREY: Really?


MS. WINFREY: How do you get to be a product of the fifties and you have no intimidation?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I'll tell you what happened, and this was a very specific moment in my life. I walked into the Security Council when I was named in February 1993, and I was the only woman. And all the men were sitting there, and men of all races, sitting there like this. I think a lot of women have walked into rooms like that. And as a woman, you know perfectly well that you normally kind of get a feel about the room and the people, and you think, okay, I'm going to get a sense of what's going on here before I speak. So then we were dealing -- and I can't remember the issue -- and I thought I don't have that luxury, I'm the United States. And if I don't speak now, the American position will not be known. And so I remember specifically having that ambivalent feeling, okay, I'm a woman, I should wait -- no, I'm the United States, I must speak. And so I am not intimidated anymore.

MS. WINFREY: Because you are the United States.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Because I am the United States.

MS. WINFREY: Well, I understand that because I am the viewer, so I can ask the question based upon the millions of people who would want to ask the question. So I think, well, I can say it, and if the person doesn't like it, I can say that's what they wanted to know.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I know it sounds hokey, but nothing in life can be more exciting than not to have been born here and be able to represent the US. I know Americans are patriotic, but when you haven't been born here, I think you have an extra stripe of patriotism. And I really believe in this country, and I really do think that if America gets involved, it makes a difference.

You know, I know people have asked you, "Are you affected by your biography?" Of course you are. And I am. So I know that when the US didn't do something, that is, stop Hitler, terrible things happened. When the US got involved and liberated those countries, great things happened. And so I figure it's my job now to pay back and to do everything I can and to represent the US. I will never, ever, be able to repay the American people for giving me that honor. (Applause.)

MS. WINFREY: Beautiful. So what are you going to do immediately? Like when you were saying, "And I'm going to continue this." If I were you, I would be taking a nap. (Laughter.) The first day off, don't you want to take a nap? Don't you want to go to a spa and have somebody rub your feet?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I am going to go to a spa.

MS. WINFREY: You are? Okay, good.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: And I'm going to go with some of my college classmates.

MS. WINFREY: Are you?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: People who knew me as Maddie Korbel, not as Madeleine Albright. And that's important to me. (Applause.)

MS. WINFREY: When we come back, we're going to talk to Madame Secretary about what she calls the new form of slavery. And really, I think, the truth of the matter is, if you haven't experienced a lot of the rest of the world, I think a lot of women, we feel isolated in this country and don't recognize it.

If you are born in the United States and you are female, you are really one of the luckiest women in the world. Just to be born here. We're going to talk more about that, the new form of slavery, the sexual trafficking of women, now a $4 billion business.

We'll be right back.

(Commercial break.)

MS. WINFREY: It sounds like something out of another century, but it is happening today, even right here in America. Women around the world are being trafficked, tracked and sold into prostitution, held against their will. And the question is, how are these women being tricked into this?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, I think part of it has to do with the fact that people want to have a better life. Everybody wants to figure out how to be able to earn money, or be able to run their own lives. And they are tricked into it by people who basically say, well, you are going to go to a Western country and you can have a good job. You can be a secretary, or you can be a hairdresser, or you can be a dancer, or you can be an actress. And then they end up being basically taken into slavery because their papers are taken away. So they then become stateless people, and they have nobody to protect them. And these people who have brought them in then deal with them as if they were objects.

MS. WINFREY: So the trafficking in the United States, those are women being brought from other countries into the United States?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Basically by people who have promised them a better life.

MS. WINFREY: Well, one global hotspot for this crime is Eastern Europe. Dateline NBC's Maria Shriver did a stunning investigative report on this growing crisis. Listen to how one young mother was tricked and sold into prostitution.

MS. SHRIVER: At 24, Katya is a mother, a university graduate, and as incredible as it may sound, a woman who survived being sold into slavery.

VOICE: They took us to a place where they sold people, a mini-slave market.

MS. SHRIVER: What happened there?

VOICE: They separated us according to hair color. Blonds went to one place, brunettes to another, redheads to another. They made all of us take our clothes off and took us out naked. They made us bend, sit down, walk, sing, dance -- all sorts of things. I felt like I was an animal, a horse.

MS. SHRIVER: How many men did you have to have sex with a day?

VOICE: It depends on the day of the week. But on the weekends, I would have around seven, eight, sometimes 11. But no one cared about us. It was useless to call the police. My owner was a former police officer.

MS. SHRIVER: Did you ever say, Wait a minute; I'm a university-educated woman; I'm a mother of a child; this is a big mistake; I don't want to do this; I cannot do this -- no?

VOICE: When I said that I have a higher education, they said, Oh, well, now all of our clients will be serviced by an educated prostitute.

MS. WINFREY: Katya did manage to pull off a daring escape and is one of the few survivors who actually made it back home alive. And Dateline NBC also took their cameras to the actual places that women are forced to work as sex slaves and brought back this very disturbing footage.

MS. SHRIVER: These sleepy isolated villages seemed like an unlikely place for imprisoned women. We located the Czech-German border villages near Crimmhof, just as Natasha had specified, brimming with 24-hour bars and brothels.

According to the girls, these bustling brothels are profitable cash crops for Russian, Ukrainian and Czech organized crime. So we proceeded cautiously, never stopping or stepping out of the car to film.

We were shocked at the sheer number of young girls on display. Every bar, nightclub and hotel featured scantily-clad young girls in window after neon window. While some danced halfheartedly, other girls turned away, or ran when they spotted our cameras. We couldn't help but wonder how many of them were daughters or wives who had families desperately searching for them.

MS. WINFREY: Could you help us understand, because I am now thinking of all the women who are watching this -- and men -- around the country, your kids are coming home from school, you are getting dinner ready. What does that have to do with my life?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think what you have to do is put yourself in that position, or your daughters. For me, whenever I see something like that, I think, oh, my God, I have three daughters. Imagine if we were in some kind of a society where this happened.

The other part that I have really been fighting -- there are some people who say that trafficking or genital mutilation is cultural. And I have a line in all my speeches which says, it is not cultural; it's criminal.

MS. WINFREY: My next guest says that he still has nightmares. He is a filmmaker, Andrew Levine. He traveled halfway across the world with his video camera, brought back some of the most heartbreaking scenes you will every say.

Actress Winona Ryder narrates his powerful documentary called, "The Price of Youth," shot in the brothels of India. Take a look at this.

MS. RYDER: The small Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal, wedged between India and China, is best known for its Buddhist and Hindu temples and stunning mountain vistas.

But behind this seeming Shangri-la lies a shocking reality known as the "flesh trade." Between 5,000 to 6,000 of the country's girls, some as young as seven years old, are trafficked to India each year and sold as sex slaves. The majority become infected with HIV.

These girls, prized in India for their fair skin, are often sold to traffickers by a close relative or family friend. Their destination is Kamadi Pora, Mumbai, otherwise known as "the cages." Inside this labyrinth of lanes and alleyways, virtually any sexual service can be found for the right price. From beggar to the world's richest sheiks, there is an increasing demand for younger girls and virgins, fueled by a popular belief that having sexual intercourse with children will prevent sexually-transmitted diseases, and even cure AIDS.

Upon arrival to these brothels, the girls are broken in and their nightmare begins. Gang rapes, burnings with cigarettes and acid, and beatings are the final initiation for new girls who resist having sex with the clients. Girls are forced to sleep with as many as 20 men each day so that the brothel-keeper can recoup what they paid the trafficker for them. Living conditions are inhumane. The new girls are often locked in cramped cubicles behind iron bars, and fed only one meal a day.

MS. WINFREY: See, what I think is important and one of the reasons why we wanted to do this show, in addition to celebrating Madame Secretary, was to let people who are our viewers to understand that in many places in the world that we are talking about today, if you are a woman, you have no voice, still in 2001. You have no voice.

MR. LEVINE: Exactly. You don't have a voice. And that is where we have to document what is actually happening over there, and the first step is doing that, bearing witness on film, because pictures don't lie. You can't -- you see a picture, you see a film, you can't say that doesn't happen now. Because we are proving it, and that is the first step.

MS. WINFREY: And everybody who has seen it now knows it, so it is just like watching a holocaust happen, and say, Oh, that's over there and that doesn't have anything to do with my life.

MR. LEVINE: Exactly.

MS. WINFREY: Yes. When we come back, you will meet Anita. She came all the way here from Nepal to tell her story. She was sold at the age of nine, forced to have sex with as many as 15 men a night. But first, if you suspect anyone of human trafficking, take note.

The National Worker Exploitation Task Force was created by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate and prosecute those who recruit and traffic people into the United States. If you suspect a case of trafficking, please call, (888) 428-7581.

(Commercial break.)

MS. WINFREY: These inhumane conditions inside brothels in Thailand and India were secretly taped by the International Justice Mission. The IJM is a Christian organization. Their goal is to wipe out worldwide oppression, including the sexual trafficking of women. IJM members actually raid the dangerous brothels to rescue women who are being held captive and forced to work as sex slaves.

If you would like to help in the fight against sexual trafficking, log onto their website: www.ijm.org or call 1 (888) 456-4499.

This is Anita Jonka. She was just nine years old living in Nepal with her family when she, too, was forced into sex slavery at a brothel in India. She only speaks her native language, Nepalese, and she has come here from halfway around the world now to tell her story.

Joining us in the front row is Anerada, who is known as the "Mother Theresa of Nepal." With little or no money, Anerada has made it her life mission to help the girls who manage to escape these hellish brothels.

So let's start with Anita's story.

MS. JONKA: I was given a cup of tea at the border and I was drugged and I was taken to Bombay. They lady who bought me told me that now you are sold, you have to work with me and you have to do -- (inaudible) -- that means you have to go into prostitution.

So I had to do what they told me because they beat me very badly. They gave me food only once a day, and I had to serve from one man to 16 men per day. I was not given any money. All the money was taken by the brothel owner.

Many girls like me get pregnant and they abort, and they did the same thing to me. They took me to a small clinic and they did an abortion to me. Immediately after the abortion, I had to sleep with different men, and I was bleeding very badly. But they didn't have pity on me.

I was very tired, and I was bleeding, and I didn't want to work. But the brothel owner, she forcefully sent 17 men in and they all had sex with me, and I was very badly bleeding, and I was sick for two or three days.

Then the police came and rescued me. I am not a victim; I am a survivor, and working against trafficking. I pray to God that no one will get the disease which I have, the HIV-AIDS virus. The sorrow I have faced, the difficulties I have gone through, no child should suffer like I have suffered.

MS. WINFREY: Thank you. (Applause.)

If you want to help Aneranda's organization, it is called "Maiti Nepal," which helps victims of sexual trafficking once they are free. You can log onto her website, http://www.maitinepal.org/. Through the website, you can then begin to sponsor a victim. That is something that we can do.

Coming up, they came for the American dream and found themselves trapped in a nightmare. You will see the filthy conditions inside a brothel in Miami, next.

(Commercial break.)

MS. WINFREY: Because poverty is a leading factor contributing to the trafficking of girls and women, improving their economic status is one way to prevent this travesty. The Heifer Project helps women and girls find a way to provide food and income for themselves by donating the simple gift of a cow.

You will provide a constant source of nutrition for the family, and the excess milk can be sold for income. Each family who receives a gift animal, whether it is a sheep, goat or llama, passes on the first female offspring to another family in need. The whole community benefits.

To contribute to the program, log onto the website at http://www.heifer.org/.

Now, I just taped that this morning, and I said to the guy in the audio booth, I said, "Won't I be buying me some heifers today?" (Laughter.) And we all can do that, everybody can help buy a heifer.

I wanted to ask Aneranda*, if we sponsor a victim, if we log onto your website and those of us who are now interested in what we can do, and we sponsor a victim, what will that mean?

ANERANDA: We have prevention camps, we have rehabilitation centers, we have hospice, we have transit homes. So as we have already seen, a cow means a big thing. So that is what we are doing. We are giving them little shops where they can sustain themselves by having a small shop in their village itself where they can sell tea, biscuits and all those things. And for those girls who are of the lower class, we are giving them small goats. We give them goats, one pair of goats, and the next baby, the kid, they have to give it back to us. So that is how we -- (inaudible) -- other ones.

MS. WINFREY: So you can pass it on to someone else.

ANERANDA: So if someone wants to support us, we would really, really take it for the prevention side and for the rehabilitation side also.

MS. WINFREY: That is a beautiful thing, that you take it and you pass it on, the babies -- you pass the babies on.

ANERANDA: Yes. That is what we do.


SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: The only way to deal with this is by agreements -- international agreements -- with other countries, which we have now done through the United Nations. We have now got a convention that deals with trafficking, as well as smuggling, which is a different part of this problem.

And then we have passed some legislation now in the United States which will be helpful to the women that come here. Because the shocking part, when you see the Miami thing, is 50,000 women are trafficked into the United States.

MS. WINFREY: Well, there are tens of thousands of women and children forced to work as sex slaves in America. Right now. Really. Right in our own backyard.

Take a look at this.

VOICE: I was told that life in the United States was beautiful; there was freedom for all.

MS. SHRIVER: But from the moment Sarah and Rosa set foot on American soil, America, they say, meant slavery.

VOICE: We were forced to work all day and have sex with me.

MS. SHRIVER: Sarah is 20, a secretary in Mexico who says she survived nine months of physical and mental torture.

Girls shared these rooms with open sewage and rats.

MR. DOUGLAS: One of the bathrooms here. Personally, I wouldn't keep my dog in some of those places.

MS. SHRIVER: INS Agent Kevin Douglas led an investigation that uncovered this man-made hell.

VOICE: I was told that I could work in child care, but if I didn't do that, they offered me the possibility of working, taking care of the elderly.

MR. DOUGLAS: Three people were arrested in here.

MS. SHRIVER: The women said they endured rape, sodomy and terrible beatings, 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

MR. DOUGLAS: We recovered some tally sheets that showed us the younger girls, they were sleeping with more guys. They were sleeping, some of them, with 40 guys a day.

MS. SHRIVER: How young were the girls that you saw?

MR. DOUGLAS: The youngest girl that we got was 14 years old.

MS. SHRIVER: The agents gave us a candid glimpse of what they found in one of the closed brothels raided in Fort Pierce, Florida.

MR. DOUGLAS: And they would come in and buy a ticket. A ticket was usually a condom. You know, and then they bring the condom in and they would pick a girl. And they had ten minutes with the girls.

MS. SHRIVER: They would make a lot of money, I mean, around the clock, 24 hours a day, every ten minutes a new guy at $22 a pop?

MR. DOUGLAS: I said the average is about 150 customers per girl per week.

MS. SHRIVER: Investigators say that one girl would bring in as much as $100,000 a year. And how much made its way back to the girls? More often than not, not one penny.

MS. WINFREY: And it is slavery.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Absolutely. And all you have to do is see how these women are completely controlled. We work very closely now with the Justice Department on trying to have these prosecutions, and the law now is helping us do this.

MS. WINFREY: Next, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's biggest life lessons. Remembering your spirit, next.

(Commercial break.)

MS. WINFREY: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's life reads like fiction. As a child, her family, as you heard the President say earlier, was forced to flee the Nazis. And after 23 years of marriage and three children, her marriage fell apart. Her life has not been without some bumps in the road.

But as the highest-ranking woman in the history of the United States of America, this powerhouse, this force for good, has learned a thing or two about life.

Take a look.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think women especially are very hard on themselves and on each other. And I think in order to really be able to find inner spirit, you have to kind of catch your breath and say, Okay, I can only do the best I can do, and if I didn't do it right this time, I will try to do it better next time. And that is what I did.

It took me a very long time to have my chronological age and my professional age catch up with each other, because I didn't really have a full-time career until I was somewhere in my forties. I definitely had my mother period, I had my period of volunteer work, I had my time as a legislative assistant.

So the fact that I had a chance to put my love of foreign policy and my love of politics and my love of America all into one job has really been a dream come true.

I have had a life basically of ups and downs. My parents lived in Europe during the War, and when the Germans took over Czechoslovakia, we escaped. And I think as a lot of people now know, and I didn't know, but I was of Jewish background, so there is a pretty good chance that I might have died in a concentration camp if my parents had not been brave enough to bring us out of that. My parents had in fact made very clear to me that the suffering of other people, under great evil, was something that could not be tolerated.

I was married for 23 years, and then at a certain point, my husband came home from a trip and simply said that our marriage was over. And we were divorced. And it was a pretty quick divorce, and it was a huge shock to me.

I started teaching at Georgetown University. I had been hired to be a role model for young women. But I felt uncomfortable about being a role model because I wasn't perfect. I had been divorced. And like most women, I thought it was my failure.

For me, a life lesson has been not to be so judgmental. I think I learned it especially after my divorce, that there isn't always an easy explanation for why somebody took a particular action, that we need to try to forgive mistakes and understand why a person did what they did. Now, that isn't always easy for me.

I think one of the most interesting things about being a woman in the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st was the fact that there were not a lot of jobs open to women. Those of us that made it to the top did so on the shoulders of other women. And I think we owe it to others to help them along.

I have tried very hard to bring the experiences that I had in terms of mentoring young women to teaching. So I decided that what young women needed to learn was to do what men do, which is when they have an idea, they simply interrupt. I made up a term, which is kind of "active listening." And I think women need to do that more. And their ideas, and whatever idea you have, is all of a sudden viewed as brilliant.

I am 63 years old and proud of it. And it has taken me quite a long time to get my life together. And it is in the putting the life together that life is rich. And I am about to leave what is clearly the best job in the job. But it is not over. I am going to redesign my life and continue to do the things that I care about, and learn in the process.

MS. WINFREY: What an inspiration you are.


MS. WINFREY: Well, we are to each other.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: No, but I really think, Oprah, what you have done in terms of being -- you are around the world more than I am. You are in so many people's homes, and you have brought the gift of information. And people can't say they don't know something anymore, because you are there telling it like it is. And I hope we could be considered as partners in this, because you are a great ambassador for the United States.


MS. WINFREY: Thank you. We will be right back. Beautiful.

(Commercial break.)

MS. WINFREY: I would like to say a very special thank you to Madame Secretary. I have been trying to get you on here for years, but a little busy, I know. A little busy.

Thank you to Madame Secretary and to all of our guests.

So now you can't say you don't know. Go to www.heifer.org and buy a cow for somebody today. Thank you.


Thank you so much.

[End of Document]
Blue Line

Secretary's Home Page | State Department Home Page