Biden’s administration amended its National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking on Friday, with a new focus on issues of race and gender equality, as well as laborers’ rights, The Hill reports.
According to top administration authorities, the new strategy emphasizes underprivileged individuals, families, and communities and is tied to President Biden’s larger initiatives to redress disparities for underrepresented populations. Officials say it also focuses on eradicating forced labor in global supply networks, which was aggravated by the coronavirus epidemic.
A senior administration source said the White House National Security Council (NSC) began rewriting the National Action Plan eight months ago “to incorporate the President’s fundamental dedication to race and gender equality.”
The National Security Council collaborated on the new strategy with the White House’s Gender Policy Council and Domestic Policy Council, as well as 20 other departments and agencies. After victims of human trafficking are rescued, NSC wants to collaborate with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services to provide safe housing choices for them.
The plan is built on four pillars: prevention, protection, prosecution, and collaboration. Prevention entails informing vulnerable populations about the dangers, protection entails intervening and providing services to protect and aid victims, prosecution entails bringing those involved in trafficking responsible, and partnerships entail bolstering efforts and collaborating with allies.
According to an official, the Department of Justice has accused over 5,000 traffickers and financed victim assistance programs to stabilize and empower survivors since the implementation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000.
Officials added that Biden, then a senator, supported the act’s passage and has been a lifelong supporter of efforts to eliminate human trafficking, thus the president’s declaration represents a fresh commitment to such efforts.