In September 2012 at the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama made a commitment to step up our fight against the evils of human trafficking and pledged to “do even more to help victims recover and rebuild their lives.”
Today, as part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to carry out that pledge, and in recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the White House released the first-ever Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States.
The plan lays out a five-year path for increased coordination, collaboration, and capacity across the federal government and in partnership with other governmental and nongovernmental entities at all levels. It describes the steps that federal agencies will take to ensure that all victims of human trafficking in the United States are identified and have access to the services they need to recover and to rebuild their lives.
This includes a victim services network that is comprehensive, trauma-informed, and responsive to the needs of all victims, regardless of the type of trafficking they endured, and regardless of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status.
More than 15 federal agencies (led by the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security) worked with stakeholders and participated in listening sessions across the country to develop this plan, as well as solicited feedback through a 45-day public comment period. Our team also worked with survivors to ensure that their specialized knowledge of human trafficking was included in the implementation of this strategy.
I had the pleasure of announcing the plan’s release this morning at a meeting with an extraordinary group of individuals who reflect the diversity and depth of experiences and backgrounds of human trafficking survivors from across the United States, as well as more than 40 representatives from federal agencies engaged in the Administration’s anti-human trafficking efforts.
I thanked them for all their input and the work they had done putting together the plan, and emphasized that only by continuing to work together can we be truly successful in our ongoing efforts to do more to help the victims of human trafficking.
As President Obama concluded that day while speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative, directly addressing the victims of human trafficking:
...we see you. We hear you. We insist on your dignity. And we share your belief that if just given the chance, you will forge a life equal to your talents and worthy of your dreams.