WASHINGTON, D.C. – Polaris Project, a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern slavery, released a statement today following the annual meeting of President Obama’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the White House.
Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris Project, said:
“We are pleased that President Obama and his Administration show continued commitment to fighting modern slavery in the United States. Polaris Project especially commends the strong focus on protecting survivors of human trafficking and ensuring that survivors are not treated like criminals. However, service providers and law enforcement still need far more resources to respond to and prevent modern slavery right here in America.
“It’s encouraging to hear the progress made by all agencies in our fight against modern slavery. Polaris Project especially supports the continued implementation of the government-wide approach through the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims. The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime funds collaborative initiatives between service providers and law enforcement – such as our partnership with the Fairfax County Police Department with the support of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia– that hold traffickers accountable while directing victims to local services. The Department of Health and Human Services funds the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, through which more victims are receiving support than ever before.
“While we welcome the increased attention from the Administration and Congress to the issue of human trafficking, it’s vital that equal funding and resources are available for all victims of human trafficking, not just child victims of sex trafficking. Men, women, and children of all backgrounds, including American citizens and foreign nationals, are being forced to provide commercial sex, labor, or services against their will in the U.S.
“We urge the Obama Administration and members of Congress to continue this momentum by ensuring that funding and resources are made available no matter who the victim is or how he or she is trafficked.”
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, operated by Polaris Project, experienced a 65 percent increase in phone calls directly from survivors in 2013. Click here to access more 2013 statistics. An analysis of the first year of texting data can also be found here.
People can receive help, report a tip, or request information or training by calling the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or by sending a text to BeFree (233733).