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DHS and Western Union Announce New Alliance to Combat Human Trafficking

Release Date: 
November 6, 2013

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

Announcement Marks Latest Expansion of DHS’ Blue Campaign Awareness Efforts

WASHINGTON— The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced a new alliance between the DHS Blue Campaign— the unified voice for DHS’ efforts to combat human trafficking— and Western Union.

Through this alliance, Western Union will provide the Blue Campaign’s multilingual training and awareness materials to select agent locations across the country. Participating agents will also receive additional training from Western Union on how to identify and recognize indicators of human trafficking, as well as how to report suspected cases of human trafficking.

“Today, we are pledging to do more to combat human trafficking by broadening our network of partners which will enable us to better identify and rescue victims of this inexcusable crime, and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers. “We’re grateful to have the participation of Western Union in this important effort, which will help save lives, protect innocent victims, and prevent this form of modern day slavery.”

The Blue Campaign works in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.

Working with DHS, Western Union will use training and awareness materials developed by the DHS Blue Campaign to educate its agents who regularly interact with the public on potential indicators of human trafficking and how to identify potential victims.

In June 2013, the DHS Blue Campaign unveiled new public awareness materials including a Public Service Announcement, posters and handouts to educate on victim identification and crime reporting, the case investigation process, and available resources for victim support. Western Union will display these multilingual materials at Western Union Agent locations throughout the country. 

“Ending human trafficking is possible only if everyone steps in and plays a role,” said Barry Koch, chief compliance officer for Western Union. “We are committed to using the trust, reach and power of our brand along with our Agent network to engage the public and arm them with awareness and the resources to spot the signs and report suspect activity.”

In Oct. 2012, DHS announced a partnership with the Department of Transportation and Amtrak to train over 8,000 Amtrak frontline employees and Amtrak police officers to identify and recognize indicators of human trafficking, as well as how to report suspected cases of human trafficking.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.

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Review Date: 
November 6, 2013
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