Citizen Help Sought in Stopping 'Slavery'; Human-Trafficking Ads to Air in 4 Areas

Article excerpt

Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A public awareness campaign designed to educate citizens and encourage vigilance to combat human trafficking within local communities will begin Monday, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asking the public to join the fight against this form of modern-day slavery.

Known as Don't Be Fooled, the campaign consists of two public service announcements titled Masquerade and Bird Cage that will begin airing in four key areas: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Washington D.C.

Trafficking victims live under a crippling fear under the control of their traffickers who've filled their minds with lies, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director Kumar C. Kibble in joining with the CBP effort. We hope to reach and rescue the victims who've endured much pain and suffering at the hands of callous criminals.

Mr. Kibble, chief operating officer for the principal investigative agency of the Department of Homeland Security, said ICE is committed to arresting human traffickers and bringing them to justice by ensuring that they feel the full weight of the law.

Bradley Myles, executive director and CEO of the Polaris Project, a Washington-based group that advocates stronger trafficking laws and provides help for victims, said raising awareness and educating people about human traffickers and the recruitment methods they use "is a vital area of work in the overall anti-trafficking fight.

These evils are what CBP and our partner agencies within the Department of Homeland Security began to target with last year's 'No Te Enganes' campaign and that we continue to combat with our new 'Don't Be Fooled' efforts, he said. New prevention-focused initiatives are needed, and this campaign ensures that people are more equipped with tools to prevent human trafficking before it starts. …