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DoD: Training, Awareness Critical in Human Trafficking Fight

January 20, 2016 ·  By


WASHINGTON, January 15, 2016 — The signs of human trafficking could be all around Defense Department personnel: A subcontractor withholds passports and delays payment to its employees, or a company forces potential workers to pay a large fee to obtain a contract job on a DoD installation.

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and DoD is highlighting the issue and its efforts to fight trafficking, said Army Col. Joshua Burris, deputy chief of staff for Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Sam Houston, Texas, and the executive director for DoD’s Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise 2016.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, Burris said, adding that DoD has zero tolerance for violations.

DoD wants its service members, civilians, contractors and others associated with the agency to be able to recognize the signs of human trafficking and know how to report suspected violations, he said.

Worldwide Problem, Violates Basic Human Rights


Human trafficking includes using force, fraud or coercion to compel a person to provide labor, services, or sex, Burris said. It is a violation of basic human rights, he said. It is a global problem; it happens in the United States and around the world.

“This is a heinous, awful thing that happens. It’s very important that we eradicate it,” he said.


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