U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking Releases Annual Report
The U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking was established in 2015. It is a council of eight leaders who are trafficking survivors. They use their real-life experience, as well as expertise from leadership on national, state, local and tribal levels. The council provides recommendations in support of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF). The aim is to help improve federal anti-trafficking policies across a variety of U.S. government agencies. They also hope “to ensure that survivors’ voices are valued and heard in federal, state, local, and tribal efforts to combat human trafficking.”
Last week, the Advisory Council released their annual report. This year’s report included three main recommendations:
- Resources in support of underserved trafficking victim populations. Underserved victims include: men & boys, LGBTQI populations, Indigenous peoples, and those with special needs and disabilities.
The Council recommends grants and other incentives for organizations to provide services to underserved populations. They also recommend funding for research on how to provide better services for them.
- Increased training for professionals to identify, prevent, and respond to underserved child and youth victims.
As the report states:
“Many underserved children and youth who are victims of human trafficking, or are at risk of trafficking, may come into contact with the child welfare, runaway/homeless youth, or domestic/dating violence systems. Targeted training for direct service and child welfare professionals that raises awareness and identifies the unique protective and risk factors facing each underserved child/youth population is critical to prevent human trafficking and identify potential victims. Training is also needed to identify and connect young people with appropriate and needed services that may help them address unique challenges based on their trafficking experience, which may relate to specialized counseling services, shelter or housing options, or expungement of juvenile records.”
- Increased data collection efforts by government agencies. More data will help inform resource allocation and service offerings.
While such efforts are already underway and the council applauds them, they recommend continued and further investigation especially for underserved victim populations.
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