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January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and, as we kick off the new year, we are excited to share that this month marks the 20th anniversary of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. This act enacted many protections for survivors of human trafficking and set the ground work for prosecutors to bring perpetrators to justice. Since the TVPA was passed, there have been many initiatives released in support of preventing human trafficking. For example, the Blue Campaign, created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is a national safety awareness campaign designed to educate the country about the indicators of and how to respond effectively to human trafficking cases. This campaign is a collaborative effort and leverages partnerships with various stakeholders who are concerned with human trafficking. Although human trafficking is observed throughout the entire month, it is important to note that January 11 was Human Trafficking Awareness Day and was commemorated by wearing blue clothing and posting pictures on social media with the hashtag #WearBlueDay.

In the spirit of school and student safety, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) and the Readiness Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center remain vigilant in our efforts to combat human trafficking in schools. As such, a plethora of resources on the topic of human trafficking have been created in support of this effort. Since this month commemorates all the important work done to mitigate the occurrence, we wanted to highlight several resources that we have developed.

Additionally, it is important to note that human tracking is considered an adversarial and human-caused threat. As such, the REMS TA Center Website has a dedicated page with resources from Federal partners on how to plan for and respond to these types of threats within schools and school districts. The page also includes a Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation link to identify resources specifically related to these topics. The Web page can be accessed here.

Additional Human Trafficking Resources

ED, in collaboration with DHS and the Blue Campaign created a fact sheet entitled, Human Trafficking 101 for School Administrators and Staff. This fact sheet provides the essential information about human trafficking that is important for school personnel to understand and be mindful of.

There are several organizations committed to combatting human trafficking and have many resources that may be helpful to you as we continue to raise awareness this month, including Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Human Trafficking, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Polaris.

To show continued support in advocating for the protection of children, the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), through their JUVJUST newsletter, recently released communication demonstrating their commitment to child safety and protection. The newsletter talks specifically about OJJDP funding opportunities dedicated to child protection and can be found here.

We encourage you to follow @remstacenter on Twitter and use the #WearBlueDay hashtag to keep up with human trafficking awareness activities all month long.


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