National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Every January, National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is observed. This observance started in 2011 when Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation. Even though slavery has been abolished in the United States, there are forms that still exist, like human trafficking. This can happen to anyone, no matter race, age or gender, and is a highly profitable crime. Every year millions of people are trafficked around the world, including inside the United States. There are many forms of human trafficking, but the three most common types are: forced labor, sex trafficking, and domestic servitude.
In the United States, many human trafficking cases go unnoticed because it is a hidden crime as many victims are afraid to come forward or the signs may be unrecognizable. An important part of ending human trafficking is being able to recognize it and bring this crime to the forefront. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put together common indicators to help people recognize human trafficking. Some examples are:
- Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
- Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
- Has a child stopped attending school?
This issue is important to the National Runaway Safeline seeing that runaway and homeless youth are especially vulnerable to trafficking.The Office on Trafficking in Persons has put together a calendar of national events for the month of January. These events range from webinars, discussions, and trainings. This calendar includes DHS’ Blue Campaign, which raises awareness of human trafficking. Spreading the word and raising awareness helps stop human trafficking.
On January 11th join us in supporting this campaign by participating in Wear Blue Day. This is a campaign where people take photos of themselves, friends, family, and colleagues wearing blue clothing and sharing it on social media using the hashtag #WearBlueDay.