Biden administration releases new plan to combat human trafficking
The Biden administration on Friday released an updated National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, with a new focus on gender and racial equity and workers’ rights.
The new plan highlights underserved individuals, families and communities and is linked to broader efforts by President Biden to address inequities for marginalized groups, according to senior administration officials. It also focuses on ending forced labor in global supply chains, which the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated, officials said.
The White House National Security Council (NSC) began updating the National Action Plan eight months ago “to integrate the President’s core commitment to gender and racial equity,” a senior administration official said.
“Updating the plan also involved paying close attention to core commitments on the part of this administration to workers’ rights, fair trade and ending forced labor in global supply chains, to support for underserved communities, and ensuring safe and humane migration, including by improving the screening process to more effectively identify victims of human trafficking,” the official said.
The NSC worked in coordination with the White House’s Gender Policy Council and Domestic Policy Council, as well as 20 other departments and agencies on the new plan. NSC also plans to work with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Health and Human Services to improve safe housing options for victims of human trafficking after they are freed.
The plan overall is based on four pillars, prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships. Prevention involves educating vulnerable populations about risks, protection involves intervention and services to protect and assist victims, prosecution involves holding those engaged in trafficking accountable and partnerships involves strengthening efforts and working with allies.
“Human trafficking is a stain on our society’s conscience and an affront to the ideals that form the basis of our national strength: liberty, justice, equality, and opportunity,” Biden said in a statement on Friday.
Since the enactment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000, the Department of Justice has charged almost 5,000 traffickers and has funded victim assistance programs to stabilize and empower survivors, an official said.
Officials said that Biden, then a senator, backed the passage of the act and has been a lifetime supporter of combatting human trafficking, so the announcement reflects a renewed commitment from the president to those efforts.
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