“Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar’s remarks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Remarks as prepared for delivery


Hello, friends!

I’m here to make the case for a leader who, as you just saw, is focused on security: security for our country, our economy, and our democracy. A leader who knows we are all more secure when women have the opportunity to lead with their heads high and their strides strong. That leader is Hillary Clinton.

She sees a world where girls are not captured and sold but are fearless and bold; where they lead, not follow. And where when someone tells a young woman, “You fight like a girl,” her answer is, “Yes, I do. And I’m proud to be that girl!”

Here is one challenge: today, millions of people in the world are held in forced labor or sexual servitude.

Human trafficking hits home for me. I’m a former prosecutor. A few years ago in Minnesota, a 12-year-old girl got a text to go to a party. A man picked her up in a parking lot and raped her. She ended up in a hotel and was forced to take explicit pictures of herself. They were posted online, and she was sold to two more men.

They got that guy. Our Justice Department went after him. Last December, he was convicted by a jury.

She was 12 years old. Not old enough to drive a car or go to her high school prom. Not old enough to vote. This is happening in our own country.

That’s why, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton took the international report on trafficking — the one nations use to improve their prosecutions — and she made our country accountable. She added the United States to that list. Because she knows that if we are going to be a beacon for the world, then we have to get our own house in order.

And when Hillary said, “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights,” she named sex trafficking as a violation of those rights. She didn’t say it just anywhere, she said it in China. She came home from Beijing and supported the first trafficking law in our country. And years later, she supported my bipartisan bill that’s helping law enforcement crack down on trafficking and make sure kids who are trafficked are treated as victims, not criminals.

Fellow delegates, human trafficking is the third biggest criminal enterprise in the world. As long as ISIS is selling girls for $165, and parents in Nigeria are left with nothing but bows and arrows to chase the terrorists who steal their daughters in the middle of the night, we will never have a just and good world.

Because when women are held back, democracies falter. When women are bound and treated as sex slaves, tyrants rule. Opportunity for women is not a sign of a country’s weakness, it is a sign of a nation’s strength. Or maybe Mark Twain said it best: “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.”

Elevating women across the world so they’re treated with dignity and respect — that’s what Hillary Clinton will do. And if that means playing the woman card, Donald Trump, let me tell you: there are hundreds of millions of women in this world who are ready to play that card. And in the United States of America, it’s called the voting card.

You know, part of how we make this better is by telling the truth, laying out the facts, and sharing our stories. Here with us tonight is someone who has experienced the devastation of human trafficking. It’s hard to put words to the horror she’s faced, but Ima Matul has the courage to speak out.

We all have a voice. This election, let’s use it.

We welcome you, Ima.