By: Special to The Laredo Sun
WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today launched two public service announcements as part of the “ Don’t Be Fooled” campaign—a public awareness campaign designed to educate citizens and encourage public vigilance to combat human trafficking within local communities, and invite others to join the fight against this form of modern-day slavery.
The two public service announcements entitled “Masquerade” and “Bird Cage,” will begin airing July 25 in three key media markets: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and the Washington, D.C., metro area.
All announcements will provide a phone number citizens may can call to report suspicious activity.
“Death, disappearance, and enslavement—these too often are the futures that await illegal immigrants who mortgage their lives to human smugglers” said CBP Deputy Commissioner, David V. Aguilar.
“These evils are what CBP and our partner agencies within the Department of Homeland Security began to target with last year’s ‘No Te Engañes’ campaign and that we continue to combat with our new ‘Don’t Be Fooled’ efforts.”
“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 Deputy Director Kumar C. Kibble. “Through CBP’s ‘No Te Engañes ’ (Don’t Be Fooled) public service announcement, we hope to reach and rescue the victims who’ve endured much pain and suffering at the hands of callous criminals.
ICE is committed to arresting human traffickers and bring them to justice by ensuring that they feel the full weight of the law.”
“Raising awareness and educating people about the crime of human trafficking and the recruitment methods of traffickers is a vital area of work in the overall anti-trafficking fight,” said Bradley Myles, Executive Director and CEO of the Polaris Project.
“In the United States’ 3-P approach of Protection, Prosecution, and Prevention, new prevention-focused initiatives are needed, and this campaign ensures that people are more equipped with tools to prevent human trafficking before it starts.”
In February 2010, CBP launched the first phase of the “No Te Engañes” public awareness Spanish language campaign in Central America and Mexico to underscore the dangers of the two most common types of trafficking: sexual slavery and forced labor.
In July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched the Blue Campaign – a first-of-its-kind campaign to coordinate and enhance DHS’s anti-human trafficking activities.
It leverages the authorities and resources of DHS to deter human trafficking through a three-pronged strategy of prevention, protecting victims, and prosecution.