All over the United States and around the world, human trafficking exists. Whether it is in the form of sex trafficking or forced labor, human trafficking is a stain on our global society that often stays in the shadows.
Since 2010, the United States has worked to shine an even brighter light on this crime, with January presidentially designated as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. President Biden recently reaffirmed this Administration’s commitment to protect and empower survivors of all forms of human trafficking, to prosecute traffickers, and to bring an end to human trafficking around the world.
January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about human trafficking and teach the public about how to identify and prevent this crime. Let’s work together to #EndHumanTrafficking. Learn more here: https://t.co/9O4UvQzV1J
— Department of State (@StateDept) January 5, 2023
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) recognizes Human Trafficking Prevention month by highlighting the positive power of people-to-people exchanges to not only raise awareness, but to contribute to ending human trafficking. The connections built during an exchange program can provide a starting point for community-driven action, country policies that align with international agreements and best practices, and a stronger, more diverse global network against human trafficking. In 2022 alone, more than 100 individuals representing 50 countries with experience in combating human trafficking completed International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) projects in cities across the United States. Through these two-week professional exchange programs, they cultivated lasting relationships with American counterparts, from law enforcement officials to businesses to survivor advocates.
Five of these IVLP alumni were honored by Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) Launch Ceremony for devoting their lives to supporting survivors of human trafficking. The 2022 TIP Report Heroes participated in an IVLP that took them to Washington, D.C.; Reno, Nevada; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They met with a wide range of federal and local officials and advocates for survivors of human trafficking, including the Congressional author of the original Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey.
Recently, we were honored to host the 2022 #TIPReportHeroes for an #IVLP exchange! During their IVLP, they visited Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA and Reno, NV and connected with Americans committed to combating human trafficking in all of its forms. #EndHumanTrafficking pic.twitter.com/o5dJoU6Uc5
— IVLP (@StateIVLP) July 26, 2022
Throughout January, we will highlight the 2022 TIP Report Heroes and the positive power of exchanges to combat human trafficking on Twitter at @ECAatState and @StateIVLP . Follow #HumanTraffickingPreventionMonth, #EndHumanTrafficking, and #TIPReportHeroes on all social media platforms to learn more about this important month.
About the Author: Elaine Clayton is a Public Affairs Specialist in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.