To mark the conclusion of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Secretary Napolitano today joined many of her colleagues—including Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis—in the annual meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. This Cabinet-level task force is chaired by the Secretary of State and tasked with coordinating federal efforts to combat human trafficking. DHS is proud to play a strong role in combating human trafficking. Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a human trafficker at JFKAirport who was one of its top 10 most wanted persons.
During today’s meeting, Secretary Napolitano highlighted the critical efforts of employees across the Department as part of the “Blue Campaign”—a Department-wide initiative launched by DHS in July 2010 to coordinate and enhance anti-human trafficking efforts through enhanced public awareness, victim assistance programs, and new law enforcement training.
Today also marks an important step forward in the U.S. government’s coordinated efforts to bring traffickers to justice as DHS joined the Departments of Justice and Labor in launching a nationwide Human Trafficking Enhanced Enforcement Initiative–streamlining federal criminal investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking offenses. As part of this initiative, specialized Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams (ACTeams), comprised of federal prosecutors and agents from multiple federal enforcement agencies, will be convened in select pilot districts around the country. “Working together, the entire U.S. government continues to make progress in convicting traffickers, dismantling their criminal networks and protecting their victims,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Combating human trafficking is a shared responsibility, and the ACTeam Initiative is a critical step in successfully leveraging all our federal, state, and local resources to crack down on these criminals.”
DHS’ success in combating human trafficking will continue to be rooted in strong partnerships—with our federal, state, local, tribal, international, non-governmental and private sector partners, as well as the American public.