Newswise — WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded $775,000 to the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health to conduct research and evaluate the impact of the Department’s Blue Campaign. Created to raise awareness about human trafficking, the Blue Campaign provides resources to educate the public to recognize signs of human trafficking and report suspected instances. Since its launch in 2010 by the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement (OPE), the Blue Campaign has been offering training to law enforcement agencies and others to increase detection and investigation of human trafficking, protect victims, and bring suspected traffickers to justice.
With Harvard’s research, which will include a review of scientific literature, S&T aims to provide a comprehensive data set of science-based best practices to inform federal, state and local stakeholders about programs addressing terrorism, targeted violence and human trafficking.
“The Blue Campaign is excited to partner with S&T and Harvard University to continue to hone and evolve our strategies and content in the continued fight to end modern human slavery,” said Trent Frazier, Executive Director of DHS Campaigns and Office of Academic Engagement. S&T joins Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for a unified DHS approach to combat human trafficking.
“Our objective in partnering with Harvard University in this research is to understand the impact of the campaign on public officials and general public’s ability to respond, with an ultimate goal of preventing and stopping human trafficking,” said Michael Wilbur, S&T program manager.
Dr. Amy Leffler, S&T’s social scientist assisting in this effort, said “Evaluation research is critical to make sure DHS is investing in programs that meet their desired outcomes. Connecting science to our programmatic efforts helps create more effective and meaningful outcomes.”
To learn more about the DHS strategy to combat human trafficking, learn how to report suspected trafficking, or review training materials, visit www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign.