January 11, 2023, is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, also
known as #WearBlueDay. On this day, Blue Campaign invites you to do your part in
raising awareness of the crime � and it is as simple as wearing blue. Why blue?
It is the international color of human trafficking awareness. Just find your
favorite blue outfit or article of clothing, take a picture of yourself wearing
it, and post it on your preferred social media platform using the hashtag #WearBlueDay. Leading up to #WearBlueDay, Blue
Campaign will share resources on our website and social media channels on ways
to learn more about the indicators of human trafficking and how to help spread
the word in your communities.
For the U.S. Department of Homeland Security�s (DHS) Blue Campaign,
combating human trafficking is a year-round effort. Follow Blue Campaign on
social media (@DHSBlueCampaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram)
and check out our future newsletters for what�s coming up throughout the
The DHS PROTECT Campus Symposium: Human Trafficking on College
DHS Blue Campaign and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) invite
you to join our Partnership for Response-Oriented Training and Education to
Counter Trafficking on campus (PROTECT), a no-cost one-day symposium on human
trafficking and college campuses in recognition of National Human Trafficking
Prevention Month. Attendees will hear from a panel of human trafficking experts
working in a variety of fields, all with one goal in common � to help combat
this horrific crime and protect victims. The symposium will take place in-person
on January 23, 2023. The student and faculty session will run from 1 - 4 p.m.
CST at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. More info to come on the morning
session for public safety and law enforcement.
Caretakers and adults who work with youth are invited to join�DHS
Blue Campaign for a virtual forum on human trafficking and youth. Hear from Blue
Campaign, Department of Justice (DOJ), DHS, National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children (NCMEC), National Human Trafficking Hotline-Polaris, and
Love146 to learn how to talk to youth about online safety; gain knowledge of
human trafficking trends and how they affect the youth population; and increase
awareness of available resources for youth victims and individuals working with
youth. The webinar will take place January 31, 2023, 10 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
DHS Blue Campaign: Recognizing and Responding to Human
For National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, DHS Blue Campaign
invites you to attend one of our webinars on recognizing and responding to
potential cases of human trafficking. Members of the public are invited to
attend this webinar where representatives from Blue Campaign will provide an
overview of what human trafficking is, the indicators, how to report a suspected
human trafficking situation, and available resources to raise awareness in your
communities. The dates and times of the webinars are as follows:
1: Tuesday, January 10th, 2023, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET
2: Tuesday, January 17th, 2023, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET
3: Tuesday, January 24th, 2023, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET (Offered in
We encourage you to register via the following links:
Airlines for America (A4A) recently announced that it will partner
with DHS and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to combat human
trafficking through the Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI), which trains airport
personnel and tenants on how to recognize potential human trafficking indicators
and report their suspicions to federal law enforcement. Through this
partnership, A4A will collaborate with DHS and DOT to provide virtual training
courses for all A4A staff members. Read the full press release here.
More than 200,000 aviation industry employees have gone through BLI
training. To learn more, visit go.dhs.gov/Z3L.
CCHT marks two-year anniversary and FY 2022 contributions to
DHS�s counter-trafficking mission
In October, the Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) marked
its two-year anniversary as the first unified, inter-component coordination
center for countering human trafficking and the importation of goods produced
with forced labor.
Throughout fiscal year (FY) 2022, the Center took significant steps
to advance counter human trafficking law enforcement operations, protect
victims, and enhance prevention efforts by aligning DHS�s capabilities and
expertise. Some of those accomplishments in the areas of operational support,
victim protection, training, and outreach include:
multiple, nationwide large-scale operations across the country with funding,
subject matter expertise, coordinated intelligence, and interagency coordination
the Labor Trafficking Initiative to build the capacity of HSI special agents to
initiate and develop robust, proactive labor trafficking investigations
with DOJ and field offices on the first high-profile investigations of importers
in the United States who knowingly imported goods produced with forced labor.
counter human trafficking efforts through training, outreach, and the delivery
of victim protections
an MOU with Liberty Shared to receive information which will support HSI
investigations of companies benefiting from forced labor abroad
improvements to the Continued Presence (CP) program, including a 10% increase
from the number of CP applications processed in FY 2021
a contract to create an online CP application process, and
to Congressional leadership an Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-cleared
legislative proposal on CP based on extensive listening sessions with law
enforcement and victim service providers. The proposal highlights necessary
statutory changes to CP that would provide clarification and reduce barriers,
ensuring that CP is fully available, accessible, and utilized by law enforcement
and civil attorneys to assist victims
This increased DHS level of focus is also reflected in the number of
successful human trafficking investigations conducted in FY 2022 by HSI. While
official year-end statistics are still pending, initial results indicate a
significant increase in human trafficking arrests and convictions.
Joint HSI-FBI Miami investigation results in 60-year sentence,
over $14 million in restitution.
A joint HSI/FBI investigation into a South Florida sex trafficking
ring yielded a 60-year prison sentence for the ringleader, and a judgment of
over $14 million to be paid in restitution to his victims. The defendant was
also ordered to forfeit over $3 million.
William D. Foster, 50, was sentenced in September 2022 for heading a sex
trafficking organization that exploited dozens of women and girls for more than
20 years. At any given time, up to 15 women and girls lived with Foster and were
forced to work at South Florida exotic dance clubs and engage in commercial sex.
Foster falsely told the victims that he would invest their earnings so that they
could retire in their 20s, then kept the money they earned from working six days
Foster used psychological coercion and violence to keep his victims
compliant. He required many of the victims to go on liquid diets, get unsafe
weight loss surgeries, and take anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medications
without proper diagnoses. Foster also had sex with victims, some of whom were
minors. He transported his victims to other states including New York, New
Jersey, Michigan, and Nevada, for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.
If a victim attempted to leave, Foster would threaten financial ruin
and other harm. If a victim left, she left with nothing. Law enforcement
officers recovered one of Foster�s victims from a Detroit hotel room after she
called the National Human Trafficking Hotline, a reminder that outreach is an
important part of DHS� counter-trafficking policy.
More detail on the investigation can be found here.