U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton delivered a keynote address to the Anti-Human Trafficking Symposium at Georgetown University, January 30.
The event brought government, academic, not for profit and business leaders together to help reimagine the ongoing fight against human trafficking. Other keynote speakers included actress Mira Sorvino, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador on Human Trafficking and Tony West, acting associate attorney general.
"It's fitting for us to meet during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to discuss the crime of human trafficking," said Morton. "The grim reality is that human trafficking and sexual exploitation are a very real part of the modern world To defeat human trafficking we must attack it relentlessly. There is no other way. There is no other answer. It is simply one of the great wrongs of our time. And attack it we will."
In his address, Morton discussed ICE's recent successes combatting human trafficking, including this January's conclusion of Operation Dark Night, an investigation that uncovered an organized prostitution ring operating throughout the southeast United States.
He also discussed the victim-centered approach taken by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), placing their identification, rescue and stabilization on equal value with the apprehension and prosecution of the trafficker.
"I think we will all agree that human trafficking provokes our justifiable and righteous anger," said Morton. "Let's bring our outrage to the offense."