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FinCEN Notes National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness and
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January 11, 2011  

On June 22, 2007, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 40 supporting the goals and ideals of observing the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness on January 11 of each year to raise awareness of and opposition to human trafficking. Additionally, on December 22, 2010, the White House issued a presidential proclamation that declares January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

To provide any benefit to a criminal, the illegal proceeds from human trafficking must be laundered into the legitimate financial system. The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and the recordkeeping and reporting responsibilities it places on financial institutions, provides a powerful tool for law enforcement investigators to “follow the money” and expose or penetrate the illicit financial networks that criminals use to support human trafficking, drug dealing, terrorist finance, and other serious financial crime. Investigators have repeatedly told FinCEN of the value of the BSA information in cracking these cases and the financial industry has taken note by highlighting the issue at various conferences and educational seminars.

By working together, the financial industry and law enforcement, linked together by the database and analysis that FinCEN provides, can help identify, disrupt, and prevent the criminal enterprises which profit from trafficking in human beings.

FinCEN regularly publishes examples of how BSA information is used to fight financial crime, including an example concerning human smuggling.