WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) released the names and photographs of 10 fugitives wanted for human trafficking crimes, in the hope that tips from the public could lead to the identification and arrest of these individuals.
In fiscal year 2014, HSI identified more than 440 victims of human trafficking and arrested 1,770 perpetrators of this crime.
HSI is a leading agency in the fight against human trafficking and routinely works with federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations, to identify and prosecute human traffickers and rescue their victims.
The agency’s victim assistance program ensures victims receive services and access to resources in accordance with U.S. law.
Human trafficking victims are essentially modern-day slaves. They can be of any age, race, nationality or gender, although most sex trafficking victims are women. Victims of human trafficking are forced into prostitution, labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts. Vulnerable populations include at-risk youth, runaways and undocumented immigrants who may have been smuggled into the United States to an unfamiliar culture and fear law enforcement.
A significant part of combatting human trafficking is public education and awareness. By presidential proclamation, January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Human trafficking investigations often result from a tip from the general public. HSI encourages the public to report suspicious activity by calling its toll-free number: 1-866-347-2423. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Tips can also be submitted online at www.ICE.gov/tips.