The U.S. Department of Homeland Security launches a new “Blue Campaign” in an effort to combat human trafficking

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Through an initiative named the Blue Campaign, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is launching a website, logo and mission statement, as well as distributing posters, tip sheets and public service announcements about human trafficking.  Human trafficking, as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, can be the recruitment, transportation or harboring of people by means of force, deception or coercion. Victims, often mentally and physically abused, can be forced into prostitution, unfair working conditions or other exploitative situations.  DHS investigates human trafficking, arrests suspects and trains law enforcement officials. DHS also processes immigration relief services through T visas which allow certain victims of human trafficking and immediate family members to remain and work in the United States if they agree to assist law enforcement in testifying against the perpetrators.  In 2010, DHS created the Blue Campaign to combine the agency's efforts to, among other things, raise public awareness, initiate criminal investigations and train law enforcement officers to recognize the signs of trafficking.  Earlier this month, a new campaign was launched with a new mission statement that says it will aim for more collaboration with government officials, law enforcement, private organizations and other partners.  The Blue Campaign is offering new, comprehensive resources for recognizing the indicators of human trafficking and knowing how to report suspected instances of human trafficking to law enforcement, as well as resources for potential victims.  Detailed information is available on www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.