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Berkeleyan

Letter to the Editor

02 April 2008

A recent article by Barry Bergman on human trafficking ("Human trafficking steps from the shadows," March 12) drew attention to a pervasive problem hidden in communities across the country. The question that occurs to every person of conscience after reading of human trafficking is naturally, "What can I do?" One answer to that question is simply, "Keep your eyes open."

Victims of trafficking are often encountered by the public in the course of daily business. Signs of a victim of trafficking include someone who does not speak English, lacks a passport, is fearful or depressed, and shows evidence of abuse, such as bruises. If someone suspects a case of trafficking, they may call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, established by the Bush administration, on a toll-free number: 1-888-373-7888.

Once a victim is identified, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services helps provide food, access to shelter, legal assistance, job training, and health care. By working together to fight this injustice, Americans can help eradicate the scourge of modern-day slavery.

Daniel Schneider
Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, D.C.