The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released the second Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) Annual Report, outlining the Department’s achievements in combatting human trafficking during the previous fiscal year (FY). As a global leader in the fight against human trafficking, DHS works to end sex trafficking and forced labor through a wide range of efforts including victim identification and assistance, criminal investigations, civil enforcement actions, intelligence and analysis, training and public education, and external outreach.
In FY 2022, DHS agencies developed implementation plans tailored to incorporate a victim-centered approach into all relevant policies and programs; assisted 765 human trafficking victims; granted immigration protections to more than 22,500 victims and their families; and made 3,655 trafficking-related arrests. DHS personnel supported over 1,000 trafficking-related indictments and 600 prosecutions, and trained more than 200,000 DHS employees and private-sector personnel in recognizing and reporting suspected cases of human trafficking.
“DHS employees work tirelessly every day to combat human trafficking – crimes of exploitation with nearly 30 million sex trafficking and forced labor victims around the globe,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “I am proud of the tremendous achievements outlined in this report, awed by the dedicated public servants who do this vital work every day, and grateful to the innumerable partners who work alongside us to end these heinous crimes.”
“This report is a testament to the commitment and compassion of the DHS workforce and our invaluable partners,” said CCHT Director Cardell T. Morant. “Human trafficking is a complex global issue that requires a comprehensive strategy using every conceivable tool available to government, industry, and communities to fight it – it is this philosophy that guides the CCHT as we seek to advance efforts to combat human trafficking and the importation of goods produced with forced labor.”
Annual report highlights include:
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations referred information in dozens of cases to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), resulting in the arrest of human traffickers and identification of trafficking victims. HSI initiated 1,373 criminal investigations related to sex trafficking and forced labor, leading to 3,655 arrests and 638 convictions. HSI also assisted 765 victims and approved Continued Presence for 334 individuals.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began implementing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and issued six Withhold Release Orders (WRO) to enforce U.S. law prohibiting the importation of goods made with forced labor.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted T nonimmigrant status to 1,714 victims of severe forms of human trafficking and reached the cap of 10,000 grants of U nonimmigrant status to victims of qualifying criminal activity, including human trafficking, in FY 2022.
- The Blue Campaign acquired 43 new partners in FY 2022 in aviation, colleges and universities, youth-serving organizations, and campus and school resource offices. Online Blue Campaign resources also received more than 2.6 million clicks and led to nearly 1,800 calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and HSI Tip Line via its “Click to Call” campaign.
- U.S. Secret Service doubled the size of its Ambassador program in FY 2022, increasing the number of Ambassadors from 60 to 120. USSS Ambassadors are trained to get education and awareness to children and adults on personal and internet safety, including topics related to the prevention of child sex trafficking. Ambassadors made a total of 363 presentations during FY 2022, reaching over 19,000 stakeholders — an increase of 676% over FY 2021.
- Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers trained 3,300 law enforcement officers representing over 90 federal agencies on the indicators of human trafficking and how to respond to suspected cases with a victim-centered approach.
Launched in 2020, the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) was recently codified in the Countering Human Trafficking Act of 2022. The CCHT coordinates the efforts of 16 DHS offices and agencies to combat human trafficking through law enforcement operations, victim protection and support, intelligence and analysis, and public education and training programs.
Anyone who suspects human trafficking is encouraged to report it to law enforcement – tips can be submitted anonymously online or by calling 866-347-2423. Individuals can also contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.