A meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) has committed to take significant steps throughout 2023 to advance progress to combat human trafficking, including to advance the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will increase efforts with tribal leaders and Indigenous community organizations to address the intersections of human trafficking and missing and murdered indigenous persons and focus the HHS Look Beneath the Surface Campaign to partner with organizations in directly reaching child and youth populations at highest risk for human trafficking.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will enhance and expand its counter-forced labor efforts. DHS will strengthen engagement with the private sector, including by publishing additional information on importer compliance, as the Department continues to enforce the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFPLA).
In addition to providing its investigators awareness and referral training and stepping up engagement with local human trafficking task forces, the Department of Labor will help increase federal forced labor prosecutions by providing its expertise on labor exploitation and child labor in the Federal Enforcement Work Group.
In the coming year, DOL will assist DOJ by providing information and training materials about its role in and processes for calculating forfeiture and restitution in both forced labor and sex trafficking cases.
In 2023, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) will use its status as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council to advance anti-trafficking priorities.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who chaired the meeting, said the State Department will promote meaningful survivor engagement and leadership through its support to the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking and engagement with consultants in the Department’s Human Trafficking Expert Consultant Network. For the 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report, consultants are drafting and reviewing content for the introduction in addition to advising on the inclusion of trauma-informed photography and ethical storytelling, he said in a statement.
The State Department will develop a new risk screening process to mitigate the danger of human trafficking, including forced labor, from contracts.
Collaborating with Canada and Mexico through the Trilateral Working Group on Trafficking in Persons will resume this year.
A member of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking also joined the meeting and spoke about the Council’s 2022 report, which includes insights and recommendations for how the Federal Government can strengthen its policy and programming efforts that reflect the expertise of those with lived experience of human trafficking.
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