October 8, 2015
For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
WASHINGTON— The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced a new partnership between the DHS Blue Campaign—the unified voice for DHS’s efforts to combat human trafficking—and the North Dakota Public Health Association.
“The Department of Homeland Security is fiercely committed to combating human trafficking in North Dakota and along our Nation’s northern border,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The health care community has an important role to play in this fight, and we look forward to working alongside the North Dakota Public Health Association to identify victims of this terrible crime and bring their traffickers to justice.”
Through this partnership, the North Dakota Public Health Association will provide the Blue Campaign’s training and awareness materials throughout North Dakota healthcare facilities to raise public consciousness of human trafficking. Blue Campaign tools and resources – including posters, indicator cards, and training videos specific to the health care industry - will help health care providers identify and recognize indicators of human trafficking in health care settings, as well as provide potential victims with information on how to seek support and to report suspected cases of human trafficking.
The partnership will help North Dakota combat the growing problem of human trafficking that is spreading across the state, particularly in the oil-rich Bakken region and in Indian Country.
“The goal is to get the materials into local hospitals and work with tribal communities where there’s a disproportionate amount of members who are a part of the human trafficking ring in North Dakota,” said Maylynn Warne, MPH, Executive Director of the North Dakota Public Health Association. “There’s a large number of American Indian women affected so we want to be able to reach out to those communities and offer resources.”
Earlier this year, DHS announced the expansion of the DHS Blue Campaign’s public awareness efforts to major airports, truck stops, and motorist gas stations across the country to better enable Americans to recognize and report potential instances of human trafficking. In June, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Labor announced Phase II of the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team Initiative, a strategic plan to develop high-impact federal investigations and prosecutions of suspected human traffickers.
The DHS Blue Campaign works in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.
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