The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released the Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) annual report, highlighting many of the Department’s efforts during the last Fiscal Year (FY 2021) to enhance identification and screening for human trafficking, improve protection and assistance to victims, increase investigations and enforcement actions, and provide training, outreach, and engagement.
“The courageous public servants of the Department of Homeland Security dedicate every day to supporting the victims of human trafficking, bringing traffickers to justice, and stopping this scourge wherever it persists,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The Center for Countering Human Trafficking is essential to this work, coordinating and strengthening the efforts of the many DHS offices and agencies that combat sex trafficking and forced labor.”
“The DHS counter-trafficking mission focuses on the four-part approach of prevention, protection of victims, prosecution of perpetrators, and partnership with allies,” said CCHT Director Cardell T. Morant. “Our recent increase in human trafficking investigations and arrests illustrates the success of this approach and the CCHT. Together, we are making a difference.”
During FY 2021, DHS released critical new resources for victims and witnesses of human trafficking, and for law enforcement agencies battling these crimes. DHS also announced new initiatives to combat human trafficking including an ambitious plan to incorporate and institutionalize a victim-centered approach into all DHS counter-trafficking operations and activities.
The CCHT Annual Report includes additional highlights, such as:
- ICE HSI’s 35% increase in human trafficking arrests, from 1,746 in FY 2020 to 2,360 in FY 2021;
- The CCHT’s significant increase in Continued Presence adjudications and extensions, which provided critical protection for hundreds of non-citizen victims of human trafficking;
- CBP’s record-breaking $486 million in detained or seized shipments linked to forced labor; and
- Numerous outreach and training events for law enforcement groups, non-governmental organizations, lawmakers, and the general public.
The DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) was launched in October 2020 to coordinate the efforts of 16 DHS offices and agencies that combat sex trafficking and forced labor. Guided by the DHS Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation, the CCHT’s mission is to advance counter-human trafficking law enforcement operations, and protect victims, and enhance prevention efforts by aligning DHS’s capabilities and expertise.