Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blue Campaign marks five years of collective effort to end the heinous crime of human trafficking in the United States. During this short period, the DHS Blue Campaign has served as the unified voice for the Department’s efforts to combat human trafficking, bringing together the resources and capabilities across DHS to protect victims and bring traffickers to justice. Of course, we do not do this alone. We work closely with our governmental and law enforcement partners, as well as those service providers and non-governmental organizations that work each day to assist victims of human trafficking. Ending human trafficking in the United States requires the collective resolve of all corners of our nation, and we are grateful to work alongside our committed partners in this effort.
Blue Campaign Chair Maria Odom, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Representative Ted Yoho, and White House National Security Council Senior Director Alice Hill participate in the commemoration. Not pictured: U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.
To date, the DHS Blue Campaign, through DHS components such as the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and Customs and Border Protection, has provided training to federal human trafficking task forces, more than 10,000 state, local, and campus law enforcement professionals, over 2,000 foreign law enforcement partners, and approximately 50,000 airline employees. These are all professionals on the front lines each day who can help identify victims of human trafficking.
Over the past five years, the Blue Campaign has become a national leader on anti-trafficking training, creating and delivering high quality human trafficking training across the country for federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus law enforcement. We have teamed up with our public and private sector friends and partners around the country to ensure that important information about human trafficking is being shared with individuals, families, and communities, from truck stops along our nation’s highways all the way to the Super Bowl. Finally, we have implemented a nationwide public awareness campaign, displaying awareness materials in 13 major U.S. airports; creating and sharing tools for law enforcement, educators, judges, and health care professionals; and airing our Public Service Announcement around the country over 50,000 times. Our goal is to better equip the American public to recognize and report the indicators of human trafficking. Just this week, DHS announced a new partnership with South Carolina’s Office of the Attorney General, and we continue to look for more partners in our shared fight to end human trafficking in the United States.
Yesterday, we were privileged to be joined by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Representative Ted Yoho, White House National Security Council Senior Director Alice Hill, and Blue Campaign Chair Maria Odom, to commemorate the five year milestone of the DHS Blue Campaign at an event in Washington, D.C.
Yesterday’s event was an opportunity to celebrate the Blue Campaign’s fifth anniversary and recognize the hard work of those committed to the fight against human trafficking. More importantly, however, it was an opportunity to recommit ourselves to this important effort, and chart the course for the next five years of our work. Attendees participated in small group discussions on private sector outreach, law enforcement training, public awareness, research and technology, and interagency collaboration.
Judge and White House National Security Council Senior Director Alice Hill founded the Blue Campaign in 2010
One important aspect of the work ahead of us will be to implement the recently-enacted Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. With passage of this bill, Congress handed to us a powerful tool, requiring that DHS personnel receive training on how to deter, detect, and report instances of potential human trafficking. Secretary Johnson and I are committed to fulfilling the promise of this new law. We will do so quickly and comprehensively, and are grateful to our Congressional partners for their unwavering commitment to ending human trafficking in the United States.
In five years, the DHS Blue Campaign has made great strides in our efforts to combat human trafficking. I am humbled by the great work of the men and women of DHS, and across the government, who combat this terrible crime each day. As we forge ahead, we will continue to expand our growing network of partners, train more law enforcement, further raise public awareness, and ultimately identify and rescue more victims of human trafficking.
There is much more to be done and we cannot do this alone; we need your help. I encourage you to visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign to learn more, get involved, and join us in the fight against human trafficking.