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  4. DHS Expanded Training, Education Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking in FY2023, Helped Recover Thousands

DHS Expanded Training, Education Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking in FY2023, Helped Recover Thousands

Release Date: March 15, 2024

Public Awareness Blue Campaign Nearly Doubled National Partnerships in Last Fiscal Year 

DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking Releases FY 2023 Annual Report

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its third Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) Annual Report, highlighting the Department’s successful efforts to train more than 275,000 individuals, including aviation and transportation personnel, law enforcement partners, and nonprofit organizations, to recognize the indicators of human trafficking and take action to stop this heinous crime. The Annual Report outlines the Department’s role as a global leader in the fight against human trafficking through a wide range of efforts including victim identification and assistance, criminal investigations, civil enforcement actions, intelligence and analysis, training and public education, and external outreach.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, the Department of Homeland Security expanded efforts to educate the public on human trafficking. CCHT led 135 training and outreach events for the DHS workforce and law enforcement partners with more than 14,000 participants. The Blue Campaign hosted 194 public awareness trainings with 19,626 participants from the federal government, non-governmental organizations, law enforcement, and general public – more than double the number conducted in the previous fiscal year. The Blue Campaign launched 63 new partnerships – a 46% increase over FY22 – including with higher education associations like Florida International University and Phoenix Dream Center, the nation’s largest human trafficking recovery program for young adults.

By further expanding our trainings and partnerships and educating more of the public than the previous year, CCHT has better positioned DHS to improve its counter human trafficking efforts, including investigating and prosecuting perpetrators. DHS agencies arrested 2,610 individuals for human trafficking-related offenses and assisted 731 human trafficking victims. DHS personnel supported 1,044 human trafficking-related indictments and their work led to 519 convictions.

“Human trafficking is more than a violation of law; the exploitation of vulnerable people is also a violation of our basic humanity,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We are bringing the full weight of our Department’s resources to bear in our fight against this heinous crime, rescuing victims and holding perpetrators accountable. The work of our Center for Countering Human Trafficking brings all of us in the Department together with our partners in communities across the country and the world to achieve this critical mission.”

“The CCHT Annual report represents more than just statistics and accomplishments,” said CCHT Director Cardell T. Morant. “This report reflects the continuous commitment of DHS, and our ongoing collaboration with our partners to advance counter-human trafficking law enforcement operations, protect victims and enhance prevention efforts through training and outreach.”

In FY2023:

  • DHS Blue Campaign conducted 194 trainings on the indicators of human trafficking and how to report suspected cases, reaching more than 19,000 individuals.
  • DHS Blue Campaign facilitated the training of more than 260,000 aviation personnel through Blue Lightning Initiative partnerships.
  • DHS Blue Campaign’s online resources led to over 2,200 calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and HSI Tip Line via its “Click to Call” campaign.
  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) initiated 1,282 criminal investigations related to sex trafficking and forced labor, leading to 2,610 arrests.
  • HSI approved Continued Presence for 382 individuals, allowing eligible trafficking victims to lawfully remain in the United States.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped 256 shipments of goods, valued at almost $7 million, suspected to have been made wholly or in part with forced labor.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted T nonimmigrant status to 2,181 victims of human trafficking and to 1,495 family members of victims.
  • The U.S. Secret Service significantly increased the number of Ambassadors for the Childhood Smart program. These employee volunteers made over 700 presentations to children and adults on personal and internet safety, reaching over 43,900 individuals — an increase of 122% over FY 2022.

Launched in 2020, the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking coordinates the efforts of 16 DHS offices and components to combat human trafficking through law enforcement operations, victim protection and support, intelligence and analysis, and public education and training programs. Through the Blue Campaign, the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking leads the Department’s national public awareness effort to combat human trafficking.

Anyone who suspects human trafficking is encouraged to report it to law enforcement – tips can be submitted anonymously online or by calling 866-347-2423. Individuals can also contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or humantraffickinghotline.org.

Last Updated: 03/15/2024
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