January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
On December 22, 2010, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While the employees of DHS and members of the Blue Campaign work hard throughout the year to fight human trafficking, this month is an apt time to take note of what we have done and what we plan to do moving forward.
Since the launch of the Blue Campaign in July 2010, we have inventoried and aligned the anti-human trafficking efforts of each of our components to better address this terrible crime. The Blue Campaign is led by a Steering Committee comprised of committed representatives from across the Department -- including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), the Office of Health Affairs (OHA), the Office of Policy and the Management Directorate. This diversity of components and perspectives has fostered creativity, collaboration, and concrete solutions that are helping DHS better combat human trafficking on a daily basis.
These are just a few of the Blue Campaign's recent accomplishments:
|• The creation and dissemination of a free, interactive internet training curriculum for law enforcement on identifying and addressing human trafficking
• The designation of 39 ICE human trafficking field experts
• The creation and distribution of multi-lingual resources for vulnerable populations
• The development of online resources, including a centralized website – www.dhs.gov/humantrafficking - and a human trafficking group on the civic engagement website - http://www.ourborder.ning.com
The Blue Campaign has several initiatives planned for the spring including the filming of an online training for DHS personnel and the engagement of the firefighter and EMS communities in the effort to combat human trafficking. In addition to the special initiatives of the Blue Campaign, each of the DHS components is integral in the fight against human trafficking through its daily work.
To learn more about the Blue Campaign, to download educational and outreach materials, or to sign up for the DHS Open Source Enterprise's Daily Human Trafficking and Smuggling Report, please visit us at www.dhs.gov/humantrafficking. We strive to continue to improve our efforts at combating human trafficking and welcome your feedback on how to do so. As always, report any suspected human trafficking by calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement at 866-347-2423.
Report Human Trafficking, 24 Hours
- To report suspicious activity to law enforcement:
- To reach a non-governmental organization: 888-3737-888
(National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline)
Human trafficking is a crime and a human rights abuse involving commercial sexual exploitation of a child or the use of force, coercion or fraud to compel someone into labor servitude or commercial sexual exploitation. Thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked in the United States every year.
Learn more about human trafficking
What You Can Do
Anti-Human Trafficking Resources for:
- Concerned Citizens
- Law Enforcement
- Community Organizations
- Private Sector
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery. Whether you are a victim, a concerned neighbor, a police officer, a teacher, or a business owner, you can help stop human trafficking in your community.
The Daily Human Trafficking and Smuggling Report is a 2-page summary of open-source information about current human trafficking issues. The DHS Open Source Enterprise collects and distributes the report each weekday.
Sign up for the report.
The Blue Campaign
The components of the Department of Homeland Security combat human trafficking through a variety of programs based on unique statutory authorities and institutional histories. The Department coordinates and unites these initiatives under the "Blue Campaign." The campaign name references the global anti-human trafficking symbols the Blue Heart and the Blue Blindfold, as well as the "thin blue line" of law enforcement.
The Blue Campaign is organized around the "three Ps" of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000: Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution.
To prevent human trafficking, the Department conducts public outreach both domestically and abroad. Domestic public outreach helps identify victims of human trafficking by raising general awareness and encouraging the public to report suspected instances of human trafficking; international public outreach raises awareness among potential trafficking victims seeking employment or other opportunities in the United States, who may fall prey to the lures of human traffickers.
To protect victims, the Department provides immigration assistance in the form of Continued Presence, T visas and U visas; employs Victim Assistance Specialists who work in tandem with law enforcement and non-governmental service providers throughout the country; and actively offers a number of victim assistance materials informing potential victims of their rights and how to receive help if they are violated. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also hosts "Train-the-Trainer" conferences with special agents and collateral duty victim assistance coordinators that cover victim assistance responsibilities for agents.
To increase prosecutions of traffickers, the Department trains thousands of federal, state, local and international law enforcement officials annually to recognize the indicators of human trafficking and to conduct successful human trafficking investigations. The Department also pursues an active and aggressive domestic and overseas human trafficking investigations program led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Partnerships – The Fourth "P"
Effective partnerships are the key component of the Department's Blue Campaign. Secretary Napolitano is committed to fighting human trafficking through effective collaboration: "Human trafficking is global problem that requires a global solution." Through the Blue Campaign, the Department works closely with domestic and international partners spanning federal, state, and local government; non-governmental organizations; and the private sector.
Homeland Security Components
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
As the primary U.S. law enforcement agency responsible for combating human trafficking, ICE plays a critical role in dismantling human trafficking organizations and raising public awareness of human trafficking in an effort to rescue victims and identify the perpetrators. ICE accomplishes this mission by making full use of its authorities and expertise, stripping away assets and profit incentive, collaborating with U.S. and foreign partners to attack networks worldwide and working in partnership with non-governmental organizations to identify, rescue and provide assistance to trafficking victims.
ICE's 63 offices in 44 countries are responsible for the coordination of international investigations with foreign counterparts and providing investigative support to domestic offices. In addition to its investigative responsibilities, ICE conducts training and outreach to partner with foreign law enforcement, NGOs and international organizations on strategies to combat human trafficking, forced labor and child sex tourism. Victim assistance is an integral component of ICE's foreign outreach and training.
Learn more about ICE anti-human trafficking efforts
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
With more than 42,000 frontline CBP officers and Border Patrol agents protecting nearly 7,000 miles of land border and 327 ports of entry—including official crossings by land, air, and sea—CBP is uniquely situated to deter and disrupt human trafficking.
Learn more about CBP anti-human trafficking efforts
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS helps protect victims of human trafficking and other crimes by providing immigration relief. Two types of immigration relief for victims of human trafficking and other crimes are available through USCIS: T Nonimmigrant Status (T Visa) and U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa).
Learn more about USCIS efforts to protect victims
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)
FLETC, in cooperation with ICE and the International Law Enforcement Academies, develops human trafficking training modules and conducts training for thousands of law enforcement officials worldwide. In 2010, FLETC developed a new web-based human trafficking training course that teaches officers how to recognize human trafficking encountered during routine duties, how to protect victims, and how to initiate human trafficking investigations.
The Department works closely with domestic and international partners in the global fight against human trafficking.
(From 2008) July 9, 2008 San Diego, CA
ICE mounts outdoor ad campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking
"Hidden in plain sight" is theme of displays in San Diego and six other U.S. cities
SAN DIEGO - As part of it's ongoing effort to raise public awareness about the plight of human trafficking victims in the United States, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has launched an outdoor advertising campaign featuring billboards and transit shelter signs in seven major cities across the country, including San Diego.
Posters, bearing the slogan "Hidden in Plain Sight," were erected last month at 15 transit shelters throughout the greater San Diego area. The goal of the campaign is to alert the public about the existence of human trafficking in communities nationwide. In addition to San Diego, the human trafficking billboards and transit shelter signs are being displayed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, Baltimore and New York City. Additional outdoor displays are planned for Houston, Miami and Washington, D.C.
"ICE is asking for the public's assistance to help us recognize and identify the victims of modern-day slavery who are in our midst," said Miguel Unzueta, special agent in charge for ICE investigations in San Diego. "These victims are domestic servants, sweat shop employees, sex workers and others lured here by the promise of prosperity, then forced to work without the ability to leave their situation. ICE is committed to giving trafficking victims the help they need to come forward, so we can put an end to this reprehensible form of modern day slavery."
It is estimated that some 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. These victims become casualties of the international sex trade and other forced labor situations throughout the world and in the United States. The victims typically find themselves in a foreign country, often unable to speak the language, with no one to advocate for them. Traffickers often take away the victims' travel and identity documents and tell them that if they attempt to escape, their families will be physically or financially harmed.
The outdoor advertising campaign is part of ICE's ongoing effort to raise public awareness about the existence of human trafficking in the United States. Earlier this year the agency distributed video public service announcements to television stations in 30 media markets across the country. Like the billboards, the spots urge witnesses and victims to report this crime. One of the biggest challenges facing ICE and other law enforcement agencies involved in the fight against human trafficking is getting victims and witnesses in these cases to come forward.
As the primary law enforcement agency investigating human trafficking, ICE is aggressively targeting the global criminal infrastructure, including the people, money and materials, that support human trafficking networks. The agency's goal is to prevent human trafficking in the United States by prosecuting the traffickers and rescuing and protecting the victims.
ICE urges anyone who suspects someone is being held against their will, to contact the ICE tip line anonymously at 1-866-DHS-2ICE . You can also view or download the ICE video public service announcement at www.ice.gov.