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For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the expansion of the DHS Blue Campaign’s public awareness efforts to major airports, truck stops, and motorist gas stations across the country to better enable Americans to recognize and report potential instances of human trafficking. Travelers will now see Blue Campaign messages in new locations throughout their journey. For the first time, these messages will describe the signs of human trafficking to help the general public more readily recognize and report this heinous crime.
The Blue Campaign is the Department’s unified effort to combat human trafficking. Working in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, the DHS Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.
“Our effort to combat human trafficking is strengthened by our close partnership with law enforcement and community organizations,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “Equipping the broader American public to recognize and report this heinous crime is vital to identifying and rescuing potential victims. This new public awareness campaign will help ensure that the millions of Americans who pass through our nation’s travel infrastructure are better informed and able to assist in this fight.”
Thirteen major airports are displaying DHS Blue Campaign awareness messages on video monitors, and beginning today, passengers can expect to see the messages on airport shopping bags in 10 major airports. Additionally, DHS Blue Campaign awareness messages will appear at more than 300 truck stop gas stations and 50 motorist gas stations, shining a light on instances of human trafficking that may occur along the interstate highway system.
A sample Blue Campaign message about the indicators of human trafficking
“The unfortunate reality is that human trafficking occurs all around us,” said Maria Odom, Chair of the DHS Blue Campaign. “But more people knowing what to look for will go a long way toward assisting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice. We’re taking the fight against human trafficking to the next level by utilizing Blue Campaign messages in unique places throughout our transit system, where this type of crime is prevalent.”
DHS works closely with public and private sector partners, including the Department of Transportation and Amtrak, to distribute these awareness materials across the nation. In December, DHS announced its partnership with TravelCenters of America to provide training and awareness materials to over 250 locations along the U.S. interstate highway system. Last year, DHS also established partnerships with the City of Phoenix and the Arizona Human Trafficking Council of the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families to provide training and awareness materials ahead of Super Bowl XLIX in February 2015.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.