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An 11-year-old girl is recruited to work as a waitress at a restaurant in the U.S. so she could help her desperately poor family in Mexico. The promised job never materializes. Instead, she finds herself imprisoned in a trailer serving as a portable brothel. This is human trafficking, a modern-day form of slavery. The trafficking of children, women and men from developing countries to the United States for sexual exploitation and forced labor is a devastating human rights violation prevalent in the United States. The U.S. State Department estimates that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year. Traffickers beat, emotionally torture and blackmail victims to entrap them into prostitution, pornography, migrant farm labor, domestic servitude, sweatshop work and other types of forced labor.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the agency responsible for helping victims of human trafficking become eligible to receive benefits and services. In October 2003, HHS charged Ketchum with developing a public awareness campaign to help increase the number of victims identified in the United States. When Ketchum teamed with the HHS, the result was a partnership that would shine the media spotlight on this abuse, rescue new victims of trafficking and build a community of support to help restore their lives.
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