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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Keep an eye out for human trafficking victims

Over the years I've been privileged to work with government agency officials to stem the tide of human trafficking, or modern-day slavery. Here's a notice from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) that reminds us to be vigilant and ready to speak out to help rescue and protect victims:
Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes that DHS investigates. In its worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. It is through the hard work and dedication of stakeholders like you, that we are able to increase public awareness, support victims, investigate cases and bring traffickers to justice.
As you travel this holiday season, be alert and aware of the indicators concerning a potential victim of human trafficking. Human trafficking is often “hidden in plain sight.” Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help; they may be forced or coerced through threats or violence; they may fear retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families; and they may not be in possession or have control of their identification documents. Recognizing the signs is the first step in identifying victims of human trafficking.
DHS relies on tips to dismantle these organizations. Report suspicious human trafficking activity to the ICE HSI Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423 or report tips online at www.ice.gov/tips.
Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-3737-888 to get help or connect with a service provider in your area. The NHTRC is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization.
Pay attention to your surroundings as you travel this holiday season. Thank you for your continued efforts to combat human trafficking. To learn more about human trafficking, how to identify victims, and report suspected cases of human trafficking, please visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign

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