Human trafficking is a crime that deprives millions of people of their dignity and freedom. An estimated 27.6 million are currently victims of trafficking worldwide, and, sadly, many of them are often hidden right in front of us. To properly tackle this crime, it will take a commitment from each of us to end human trafficking. Targeted awareness and outreach efforts are essential.
This month is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time for people, organizations, communities, and federal organizations to join in our efforts to combat all forms of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and forced labor. Engaging survivors—individuals who have experienced human trafficking—as partners is necessary to develop effective anti-trafficking policies and programs that are victim-centered and survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally competent. The Department of State’s commitment to these efforts remains unwavering, and this month we welcomed our new Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Cindy Dyer. She will lead the Department’s global efforts to advance the fight against human trafficking.
To that end, the Department funds projects around the world in furtherance of preventing and combating human trafficking and supports organizations tackling this issue in new and creative ways. We regularly elevate the issue of human trafficking in our conversations with foreign governments as well as through our annual Trafficking in Persons Report, interagency coordination, multilateral engagement, partnerships with civil society and the private sector, and through implementation of our part of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. Through all of these steps and more, we are determined to combat this scourge in all of its forms.