By Presidential Proclamation, January recognized National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, rallying the public to raise awareness about and end this heinous crime. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), alongside many other federal agencies, organizations, and individuals across the country worked to increase awareness throughout January.
The DHS Blue Campaign, the unified voice for DHS efforts to combat human trafficking, organized and participated in several signature Washington D.C. area-events, released new resources on our website, and launched social media initiatives to foster conversation about how we can end human trafficking in our communities.
- Blue Campaign launched the new “Second Look” PSA which will run on TV and radio stations through 2017 and in Amtrak stations across the country.
- Blue Campaign and the D.C. Mayor’s Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants’ combating human trafficking event took place on January 11, Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The event included a panel discussion with federal and local law enforcement officials, victim services organizations, and a human trafficking survivor, all of which shared successes and challenges in combating human trafficking in Washington, D.C.
- National Wear Blue Day, also held on January 11, encouraged people nationwide to post a photo of themselves, friends, family, and colleagues wearing blue clothing on social media using the hashtag #WearBlueDay to raise awareness of human trafficking. The Wear Blue Day social media campaign brought tangible visibility to this issue, created conversation nationwide, and directed participants to the Blue Campaign. The hashtag reached more than 4 million people on Twitter alone!
- Blue Campaign and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce human trafficking meeting on January 18 brought together private sector organizations working to end human trafficking in their respective industries. UPS, Wal-mart, and Uber were some of the businesses to speak on the panel alongside former DHS Acting Deputy Secretary, Russell C. Deyo, who shared remarks about Blue Campaign’s support of industry efforts to combat human trafficking. The Blue Campaign was also proud to announce its formal partnerships with UPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
- Blue Campaign launched a Thunderclap initiative to expand the reach of human trafficking awareness on social media. On January 25 at 3:00 PM, the message “This Human Trafficking Awareness Month I joined the DHS #BlueCampaign to #endtrafficking. Join in the fight.” was posted to 220 registered social media accounts and reached more than 855,000 people.
Together, this January, we helped raise public consciousness of human trafficking across the country. While National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month may be over, we know the importance of continuing this work year-round.
For more information about the Blue Campaign and how you can get involved, visit: www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign.