1. Home
  2. What You Should Know
  3. A Message from Chair Charlotte A. Burrows for 2024 National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

A Message from Chair Charlotte A. Burrows for 2024 National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, during which the federal government reaffirms its dedication to eradicating human trafficking, raises awareness about its dangers, and teaches the public how to identify and report it.

Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of a person for the purposes of compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. While trafficking can happen to anyone, some groups are more likely to be targeted due to perceived vulnerability. For example, traffickers often target immigrants, people of certain national origins, or individuals with disabilities. Women and girls are disproportionately targets of sexual harassment and assault by traffickers.

The mandate of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enforce federal anti-discrimination laws grants the agency a vital role in the fight to end human trafficking. Any person can become the victim of human trafficking, but the perpetrators of this crime often violate federal antidiscrimination laws alongside federal criminal statutes. Regardless of whether traffickers are criminally prosecuted, the EEOC works to combat trafficking though its investigation and enforcement efforts, as well as its robust outreach and education program.  

In 2023, the EEOC issued a new Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2024-2028, that includes trafficking as a focus of the agency’s vulnerable worker priority. The agency also completed the expansion of its Youth@Work program materials to include information and education about human trafficking tailored for young people who may be entering the workforce for the first time. The EEOC’s Youth@Work program promotes positive work experiences for young workers and provides information about young workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities. The new materials include information about what human trafficking is, how to identify a potential trafficking situation, and resources for escaping or helping a loved one to escape. This update was in support of President Biden’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.

In addition to this work, the EEOC continues to inform the public about employment rights and responsibilities, including those related to trafficking under federal employment discrimination laws. This past fiscal year, we held 128 agency outreach events focused on human trafficking which were attended by over 7,680 people. We also continue to update and create new guidance and materials that discuss trafficking and similar issues. The Commission continuously strives to ensure that those affected by human trafficking understand the EEOC’s role in addressing trafficking as part of the agency’s efforts to protect the civil rights of vulnerable workers.

Every person can play a role in ending the atrocities of human trafficking by learning about its impact, warning signs, and reporting suspicious activity. The EEOC is deeply committed to ensuring that all workers are treated with dignity and respect and that no person is forced to perform labor or services against their will.


Charlotte A. Burrows (she/her/hers)


U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Enabled In-page Navigation