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Human trafficking task force outlines progress and plans

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During his tenure, President Trump has signed several bills aimed at addressing human trafficking — and they had bipartisan support.

"Can you believe that?" remarked Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and top adviser, who opened a meeting of a federal task force to combat human trafficking — a goal that crosses party lines in a hyper-partisan era.

The task force recognized the efforts of two organizations with the 2019 Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking: Truckers Against Trafficking and the Responsible Business Alliance.

The task force comprises representatives from more than a dozen government agencies — secretaries or under secretaries of the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Labor attended the meeting of the task force.

The secretaries outlined the progress their departments have made against human trafficking and the plans they have for the upcoming year. The common thread was training. Most of the agencies are training people — from students and teachers to health care providers and park rangers — to identify and respond to human trafficking.

Worldwide, there are estimated to be 25 million victims of human trafficking. "It takes place not just in distance corners of the world but here in our backyard," said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mr. Trump — who typically ties human trafficking to illegal immigration — did not attend the task force meeting, but he greeted the award recipients earlier in the day in a closed-door meeting at the White House.

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