DENVER — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recognized January as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, a global issue the agency continues to fight.
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery resulting from force, fraud or coercion. Human trafficking is a detriment to our economy, the safety and health of our nation and the very dignity of our society.
Throughout January, law enforcement works with communities across the nation to promote the work being done to combat human trafficking and support those who have fallen victim to these crimes.
Our agency’s global footprint allows us to be strategically positioned to work with our law enforcement partners as well as non-governmental organizations. We uniquely situated to provide critical human trafficking and child sexual exploitation leads and tips to our partners and rescue the victims.”
In Fiscal Year 2019, HSI Denver trained more than 40 law enforcement partner agencies and nongovernmental organizations to identify and combat trafficking. The outreach efforts are a force multiplier and will help with successful prosecutions, as well as victim identification and victim assistance.
Specialists with the agency’s Victim Assistance Program assess a victim’s needs and work with law enforcement to integrate victim assistance considerations throughout a criminal investigation. HSI can also assist a victim in getting a short-term immigration relief called Continued Presence, which is available only upon request by law enforcement. In the absence of other resources, DHS has an emergency assistance fund which is available for emergency victim assistance needs.
While human trafficking can occur in a variety of scenarios and industries, indicators of trafficking activities often look the same across most cases.
Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying a victim and can help save a life. It is often a hidden crime, and victims may be afraid to come forward and get help.
Bystanders play a unique role in identifying and preventing this crime. If you notice suspicious activity, please contact ICE through its tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or www.ice.gov/tips.