National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

In recognition of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, United States Attorney Beth Drake made the following statement. “This January, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with its federal, state, and local partners, renews its commitment to working to rescue and restore victims of human trafficking and to prosecuting those responsible for these human rights abuses. We cannot simply stand on our past successes as these victories have illuminated how much more work we have to do. Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted human trafficking cases from the coast to the midlands to the upstate. Each case opened one more window into this shadowy world. We have learned that many victims of human trafficking are encountering South Carolinians in their places of work and leisure, yet they remain unseen or unnoticed. Traffickers prey on men, women, and children – both foreign nationals and United States citizens, the rich and the poor, the black and the white, the young and the old, the educated and the uneducated. The exploitation of these individuals varies from the forced labor of workers in the agricultural and service industries to the forced commercial sex trade and many other forms, all yielding shameful profits to the traffickers. We each have a role to play in lifting the veil on this crime. We at the Department of Justice encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with the warning signs of human trafficking,, and to report suspicious activity to law enforcement or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888.” Congress has provided the U. S. Attorney’s Office and its partners with strong and effective tools to bring to justice those who commit these most offensive human rights violations. Through the vigorous prosecution of human traffickers working in conjunction with the FBI and DHS HSI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will work to make South Carolina an area inhospitable to and intolerant of human trafficking. “Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and our partner agencies,” said Atlanta Special Agent in Charge of Nick Annan. “HSI human trafficking investigations follow a victim-centered approach, ensuring the victims of this terrible crime are rescued and get the care they need, while at the same time investigating and seeking prosecution of the criminal perpetrators of this modern-day slavery.” The FBI stated, “The FBI and our federal, state, and local partners have made great progress in identifying human trafficking operations, prosecuting offenders, and helping victims, but much work remains to be done. It is all our hope that as more people become aware of the magnitude of this problem, more critical information will be provided to us. Therefore, we ask anyone with information about human trafficking to contact their nearest FBI office.”