Using Victim Centered Approach to Combat Human Trafficking

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has emphasized its role in using a victim-centered approach to combating human trafficking, which places equal value on the identification and stabilization of victims, as well as the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. According to the agency, “DHS understands how difficult it can be for victims to come forward and work with law enforcement, due to their trauma,” adding, “DHS is committed to helping victims feel stable, safe, and secure [because] Victims are crucial to investigations and prosecutions. Each case and every conviction changes lives.”

Meanwhile The Homeland Security launched a new public service Announcement (PSA) titled Out of the Shadows for the Blue Campaign against human trafficking in the United States last year. A press release issued by the United States’ Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stated that the goal of the announcement is to sensitize the public  and “open their eyes” about the fact that they could be seeing victims of human trafficking in their daily life.


According to the CBP Acting Commissioner, Thomas S. Winkowski, bringing human trafficking awareness close to the public is the agency’s way of “urging the public to be aware of this injustice and to help us, as law enforcement, bring the perpetrators to justice and support the victims,” adding “human trafficking is a crime that cannot remain hidden.” he said.

The Blue Campaign, the release noted, provides a unified voice for the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to combat human trafficking, and in early June introduced a new microsite, mission statement, and products such as posters and a PSA to further the campaign which originally began in 2010.

Out of the Shadows is a poignant PSA, available in both English and Spanish, that provides information encouraging the public to educate themselves about how to recognize and report human trafficking.

To learn more, or to join the fight against human trafficking visit

The CBP also encourages the public to share the PSA to support us in the fight to combat this heinous crime. Out of the Shadows is available for download through DVIDS (

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