In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Maria Odom of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign announced a new partnership to increase efforts to combat human trafficking, as well as new anti-trafficking initiatives by the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The partnership with the Blue Campaign – which works with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations to prevent human trafficking – will include a public awareness campaign and workplace posters to help the public identify and report suspected trafficking.
“Since 2007, there have been 486 reported cases of human trafficking in the District. This is unacceptable,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our city is better than this, and we do not stand for any abuse of human rights. This new partnership builds on the District’s longstanding commitment to combat and prevent this atrocious crime.”
The Blue Campaign public awareness materials, which urge the public to recognize and report human trafficking, will be placed throughout the Metro system by District government. The workplace posters with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number will be posted at relevant District agencies, and interested businesses will be encouraged to post them as well. The materials will be made available to the public later this month.
In addition to the partnership-related initiatives, the DMV joined the DC Human Trafficking Task Force, which works to increase the prosecution of traffickers while identifying and serving victims. DMV is partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking to distribute anti-trafficking materials to residents with a commercial driving license, and will train all of its Service Center staff on human trafficking awareness. A Blue Campaign public service announcement will also be shown on televisions at the Service Centers. As with any crime, when residents see something, we want you to say something. You can report information or provide anonymous tips by calling: 1-888-373-7888. The more information we have, the quicker we can act to get perpetrators off the streets, and victims back in safe hands.
The announcement was made at the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) Open House. OHR is the District’s civil rights enforcement agency and works to proactively prevent discrimination against vulnerable populations, including those communities frequently targeted for human trafficking.