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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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June 19th, 2013
06:36 PM ET

Domestic slavery in our nation's capital

Slavery was outlawed in the United States in the 19th century.

However, the State Department says it still exists in what sometimes is called diplomatic slavery.

In 2009, Ambassador Luis CdeBaca was appointed by President Barack Obama to create solutions at the State Department for ending human trafficking and advocate for change.

A State Department report this week on human trafficking shows the problem  getting worse overall in a number of countries, including Russia and China.

CdeBaca gave an exclusive interview to CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” to discuss the issue and touched on the issue of diplomatic slavery.

The State Department would not comment on the number of diplomatic trafficking cases, saying they are still under investigation.

But the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, looked into the issue in 2008.

It found more than 42 domestic workers alleging they were abused by their foreign diplomat employers since 2000.

The actual numbers of victims are likely higher, the GAO said.

And there are allegations it occurs in the nation’s capital as well.

"It happens just miles from the White House here in Washington D.C.," CdeBaca said.

“I think we like to think that slavery is what happens in the shadows. As a profession, we hear way too many stories around the world of diplomats who think that they have carte blanche to treat their servants badly,” said CdeBaca.

Rosemery Martell said she was a victim of diplomatic slavery.