On May 9th the Center for American Progress held a presentation on human trafficking featuring Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Janet Napolitano has had a long and illustrious career in politics including becoming the first female attorney general of Arizona as well as serving two terms as governor of Arizona.
To begin Napolitano discussed the role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She explained that DHS deals with a variety of security issues on a macro level. Counterterrorism is their first priority, but they also focus heavily on other issues such as boarder security, immigration enforcement, disaster response, cyber security, and human trafficking.
Human Trafficking, she described, is the moving of people around the world to profit from them economically and is a form of modern day slavery. Most trafficked people come from Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Napolitano emphasized that one of their main strategies for combating human trafficking is building public awareness. As part of the effort to achieve this goal DHS has launched a new initiative called the Blue Campaign. Its approaches include training flight attendants to recognize the signs of human trafficking and developing a training curriculum for law enforcement. They also aim to include many areas of the government both federal and local, such as the Department of State and Department of Justice.
After discussing trafficking she spoke about women in political leadership roles. She noted that many political positions, such as those in congress and the senate, are lacking female representatives. She stated that this was not because women cannot raise enough money, or because their parties’ do not pick them as their leaders, but rather because women simply choose not to run. A common concern is the impact it will have on privacy and family lives, but Napolitano assured her female listeners that although it can be tough, the payoff is well worth it.
Watch the full video of this event here.