2010-05-21 / Top Stories

Education Program To Address Human Trafficking

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Carol A. Robles-Roman and Chief Advisor for Policy and Strategic Planning John Feinblatt have launched a new public-education campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and encourage New Yorkers to report potential trafficking situations.

The multi-media campaign called “Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking,” features silhouettes of everyday people who may be affected by trafficking. Human trafficking is a horrible crime that involves the recruiting, transporting, selling, or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of exploitation. These victims are often controlled through force, fraud, or coercion.

The print advertisements in English and Spanish, created by Grey New York, with support from the Somaly Mam Foundation and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, will appear on bus shelters in the five boroughs from May 20 – June 13. As part of the new campaign, the City’s new anti-trafficking website, which can be found on www.nyc.gov, was also launched to provide more information about the plight of human trafficking.

“We have made New York the safest big city in the nation by developing innovative new policies and programs and targeting our resources where they are needed most,” said Bloomberg. “This new public education campaign will play a critical role in raising awareness of the impact of this horrible crime, encouraging New Yorkers to report it and, most importantly, letting victims know that help is available. Working together, let’s call an end to human trafficking.”

“Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world today,” said Robles-Roman. “However, most people don’t know what it is or how to recognize this form of modern day slavery. With this public education campaign, New York City is teaming up with public and private partners to inform New Yorkers about how to recognize and report human trafficking.”

“When it comes to counter-terrorism, New Yorkers have learned the importance of this simple sentence: ‘if you see something — say something,’” said Feinblatt. “But we need to apply that same message to crimes that take place in the shadows like human trafficking. That’s why this public awareness campaign is so important.”

A person is a victim of human trafficking when they are forced, tricked, or coerced into performing commercial sex acts or working in exploitative jobs. A victim of human trafficking can be from any foreign country or within the United States, and any age, sex, or ethnicity.

Human trafficking is a global problem and as a major transportation hub, there is potential for both foreign born and domestic victims of human trafficking to pass through New York City and the tri-state area, where there are many places to hide and a huge marketplace.

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