DHS Releases Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a first-of-its-kind Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forces Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation. Having declared achieving the end of human trafficking a national priority, the United States seeks to “leverage all of [its] authorities in this fight.” In particular, DHS plays a vital role by overseeing trade, travel, and victim protection laws as part of the Department’s homeland security mission. Accordingly, this strategy represents the Department’s long-term approach and vision for combatting these criminal activities.

Specifically, the strategy identifies five key goals:

  • Prevention – to reduce the threat by providing information and resources to populations at risk;
  • Protection – to disrupt criminal activity by providing victims with recovery assistance;
  • Prosecution – to leverage DHS law enforcement and national security authorities to prosecute cases;
  • Partnership – to build strong partnership among relevant agencies nationwide; and
  • Enabling DHS – to streamline DHS programs for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in combatting these crimes.

Furthermore, in addition to these five goals, the strategy includes nine objectives along with a series of Priority Actions designed to guide the Department in its mission to bring an end to human trafficking and exploitation. Overall, the strategy outlines a holistic approach that combats all forms of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation by underscoring the importance of collaboration across national agencies, as well as local authorities and communities. Significantly, this document will “ensure that DHS law enforcement, our service providers, and our partners protect victims and build and maintain trust between victims and the communities supporting them and law enforcement and other criminal justice actors.”

The HSDL offers many additional resources related to human trafficking, national security, and interagency cooperation. Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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