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Public Awareness & Training

Increasing public awareness about the risks and signs of human trafficking is an important piece of any anti-trafficking strategy. Effective public awareness and outreach efforts can lead to the detection of human trafficking cases, build public support for governments and communities to act, and ultimately help prevent human trafficking. Human trafficking awareness training provides an important foundation for individuals, first responders, law enforcement, service providers, educators, businesses, and others to recognize the indicators of human trafficking and learn how to appropriately respond.

The SPOG Public Awareness & Outreach Committee created Guidance for Introductory-Level Human Trafficking Awareness Training, as a resource for professional entities when developing or updating human trafficking training for their workforces. 

The following examples include agency-specific initiatives to raise awareness of human trafficking and build understanding among the general public, service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, health care providers, and others in the community:

  • DHS’s Blue Campaign  is a national public awareness campaign, designed to educate the public, law enforcement, and other industry partners to recognize the indicators  of human trafficking and learn how to appropriately respond to possible cases. The Blue Campaign works closely with DHS components to create general awareness training  and materials for law enforcement and others to increase detection of human trafficking and identify victims.
  • HHS’s Office on Trafficking in Persons National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC)  administers the SOAR to Health and Wellness  training program, delivered online or in person. SOAR offers standardized, accredited trainings for individuals, organizations, and communities that address human trafficking in behavioral health, health care, public health, and social services settings. SOAR also provides guidance on how to identify individuals who have experienced trafficking and improve appropriate responses.
  • DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Faces of Human Trafficking  is a video series that includes a discussion guide, fact sheets, and posters. The series includes information about sex and labor trafficking, multidisciplinary approaches to serving victims of human trafficking, effective victim services, victims’ legal needs, and voices of survivors.
  • The Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI)  is an element of the DHS Blue Campaign, led by DOT and DHS’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The BLI trains airline personnel to identify potential traffickers and human trafficking victims and report suspicious activity to federal law enforcement.
  • HHS’s Office on Trafficking in Persons  Look Beneath the Surface   campaign works with grantees and partners to raise awareness of human trafficking and the factors that increase the risks certain populations face. The campaign also empowers health care providers and faith-based and community organizations to help identify individuals who may be experiencing trafficking and connect them with services. Free print and digital public awareness materials are available on the website, including customizable resources.
  • DOT’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) initiative  is comprised of transportation and travel industry stakeholders working jointly to maximize their collective impact in combating human trafficking. The partnership focuses on five key areas and connects transportation stakeholders to available resources on: industry leadership, industry training and education, policy development, public awareness, and information sharing and analysis.
  • DHS ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s NetSmartz and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces to develop Project iGuardian . Project iGuardian educates and raises community awareness regarding the dangers of online activity, and it provides children, teens, parents, and teachers with information regarding the potential dangers of online environments and how to stay safe online to help prevent instances of child exploitation.
  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published the Anti-Trafficking Risk Management Best Practices & Mitigation Considerations Memorandum . The guidance describes best practices, resources, and risk mitigation techniques that government contracting officers can use to help contractors effectively meet their responsibilities under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in a less burdensome manner. The memo includes a roadmap to help focus efforts on members of the workforce who are most likely to be affected.
  • DOL’s Comply Chain app  helps businesses mitigate risks of labor exploitation in supply chains. This app, which is available in English, French, and Spanish, was developed to provide companies with information about the kinds of systems that need to be put in place to combat child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. It contains modules on developing social compliance systems ranging from stakeholder engagement to code of conduct provisions, from auditing to remediation and reporting.
  • State’s Responsible Sourcing Tool  is a website that the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the supply chain management NGO Verite developed in close collaboration with other U.S. government agencies and NGO partners. The site includes an in-depth examination of 11 key sectors and 43 commodities at risk for human trafficking or trafficking-related practices. The Responsible Sourcing Tool also includes 10 comprehensive, downloadable, and free risk-management tools; and tailored tools for the seafood sector and for the food and beverage sector. A set of tailored tools for the private security sector will be released next. The tools include items such as: a sample code of conduct, a sample vendor agreement, a tool on screening and evaluating labor recruiters, a sample supplier and subcontractor self-assessment, a tool on conducting migrant worker interviews, and a sample compliance plan for the Federal Acquisition Regulation – Ending Trafficking in Persons.

U.S. Department of State

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