WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reaching out directly to the American public and soliciting their help in the agency's latest initiative in combating the crime of human trafficking.
As part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "Blue Campaign" launched in July, ICE has continued its efforts to educate the public about the plight of human trafficking victims. ICE has designed and placed an anti-trafficking message in foreign language newspapers across the United States. These advertisements highlight some of the indicators of human trafficking and encourage the public to report suspected instances of trafficking. The public can notify ICE by calling 1-866-DHS-2-ICE if they suspect that someone is being exploited.
"We ask that the public remain alert to potential victims. We recognize how powerful the media and advocates of all kind can be in helping us rescue these individuals." said ICE Director John Morton. "Through the "Blue Campaign's" focus on prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership, we will work together to bring these human rights abuses to justice"
The cornerstone of the Blue Campaign is to identify potential human trafficking victims, empower them to seek help, provide information and referrals, rescue them from their traffickers and connect them to services and support that are available to them. ICE is making every effort to prevent human trafficking in the United States by prosecuting the traffickers and rescuing and protecting the victims. The greatest challenge facing law enforcement in the fight against human trafficking is victim identification. Therefore, it is key that the public be educated about trafficking in order to recognize and report the potential victims that live and work among us.
The advertisements will appear in the Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, and Thai languages in 50 different newspapers. They began running this month in daily, weekly, and monthly newspapers that have a combined circulation of 1.97 million readers per issue. Total readership of these papers is approximately 5 million per issue. The goal of the campaign is to alert the public about the existence of human trafficking in communities nationwide and prompt a "call to action" for individuals who encounter possible victims.
If anyone knows or suspects someone is being held against their will, ICE strongly urges them to contact the ICE tip line anonymously at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. Individuals can also view or download the public service announcement (PSA) by clicking here. Additional information on human trafficking is available by clicking here.