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.
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.
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).
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.
- Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
- Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance
- Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section
- Department of Justice, National Criminal Justice Reference Service
- Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime
- Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Labor
- Department of Education
- Department of Defense
- Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General
- U.S. Agency for International Development
- White House Council on Women on Girls
- The President's Interagency Task Force To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Senior Policy Operating Group
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
- United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking
Secretary Napolitano Signs Agreements with International Partners to Combat Human Trafficking
In February, Secretary Napolitano, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner David Aguilar, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin travelled to Central America to meet with their international counterparts and discuss the United States government’s ongoing commitment to collaborating with our international partners on combating transnational crime – including human trafficking – and working to ensure a more safe, secure and resilient global supply chain. Secretary Napolitano signed Letters of Intent with representatives from the governments of Guatemala and Panama to coordinate efforts on combating trafficking in persons.
In March, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ottawa, Canada to participate in the Cross-Border Crime Forum with Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Rob Nicholson, and Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews. Secretary Napolitano, Attorney General Holder and Minister Toews also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pledge cooperation between their respective agencies in the sharing of information related to smuggling and human trafficking cases.