Below are short descriptions of other key committees that you might organize within your task force:
Training committee. The training committee aims to strengthen both task force members’ and the community’s capacity to address human trafficking. Commonly, this is a very active committee in task forces. This committee creates a common training using an agreed upon look and feel. This committee should involve experienced trainers from a variety of fields, including law enforcement, victim services, victim impact/survivor consultants, and other specialized service providers such as legal assistance or mental health. Activities should include planning for training opportunities for each member, train-the-trainer events, and organizing training opportunities for new members attained through outreach activities. When training requests arise, there should be clear guidance or approval from the committee as to when to use task force generated materials vs. materials from an individual member agency or organization. Task forces often train groups across various sectors, including local law enforcement, businesses, hospitals, transportation companies, health service providers, faith-based groups, social workers, civic groups, housing facilities, hotel and motel management, and more.
This committee should also work with the entire task force to determine guidelines for language used with the public and in a training capacity, common terminology and definitions, and descriptions for victim populations. (See Section 3.3 on Outreach & Awareness for more information.) Task force leaders can conduct joint training sessions with service providers and law enforcement personnel to offer a place to gain greater understanding of the other’s perspectives and build a stronger relationship. In a case when a joint opportunity was not possible, one task force created several PowerPoint slides that all members agreed to use when conducting trainings. These slides described the task force, identified the vulnerabilities of the geographic location and scope of trafficking, as well as the process of reporting tips. This collaboration ensures that a consistent message is presented to all who receive training, while also solidifying the message to the community that a multidisciplinary approach is required for a successful response to human trafficking. Partnering on these types of activities helps to build understanding and professional relationships among task force members.
Strategic planning and TF protocol committee. The protocol committee is responsible for making recommendations for standard operating procedures and protocols for the task force. This committee should involve members across all sectors who have historical knowledge of their respective agency policies and procedures. This will help ensure that whatever procedures are developed will align and intersect with each member’s existing protocols. This committee is accountable to the task force and should work with all members to develop procedures and processes that ensure orderly functioning across key tasks. Some examples of protocols to be developed include: procedures for conducting investigations, emergency response and safety plans, victim identification, victim intake and care planning, and engaging in outreach and education. Note that while this committee is particularly important at the start-up of a task force, once functioning and agreed upon protocols are created, the committee may lose its purpose and dissolve. It can also reform if new protocols are needed or existing ones need to be revisited.
Additionally, this committee can be charged with regular strategic planning. This may include setting annual goals for the task force, reviewing data from task force members to analyze differences in the work of various members, or conducting periodic needs assessments.
Public awareness and outreach committee. The public awareness and outreach committee takes the lead in coming up with language/messaging and media to be used when coordinating public interfacing activities for the task force. The committee integrates the look and feel of the message into all advertising, print materials, event promotions, and Web presence. This committee also focuses on developing partnerships and involving additional community members and organizations in task force activities. The outreach committee works to collaborate with local groups and organizations to promote anti-trafficking awareness, education, training, and victim identification.
Policy and legislation committee. The policy and legislation committee discusses the gaps and impediments to addressing human trafficking and identifies policies and legislation that can address those challenges. The committee might also brief the task force on any pending legislation that might impact its work in addressing human trafficking.
Collaboration as Force Multiplier
Task Force Example: Cook County Task Force Meetings Help Foster Mutual Understanding
In one of its quarterly meetings, the group dispelled some NGO misconceptions about cooperation with law enforcement, and discussed the many different ways in which law enforcement can use even anonymous tips from human trafficking survivors, and why law enforcement may not always be able to give NGOs immediate feedback on the leads they provide.
Task force members might host regular meetings for all victim service provider and law enforcement professionals to learn how to work together more effectively. In these broader meetings for professionals in the community, task force law enforcement agents and victim advocates can lead discussions designed to increase human trafficking prosecutions and better serve human trafficking survivors, and also make individual presentations to the group as a whole to foster common ground and a better understanding of one another’s role and functions.
Building collaborative relationships between state and federal players and between law enforcement and victim service providers constitutes a force-multiplier in the fight against human trafficking. Collaboration not only expands the scope of capabilities and expertise within the task force itself, but also casts a more comprehensive net for developing criminal intelligence and collecting requisite data.
For additional information and tools, visit the Resource page for Section 3.1 Task Force Membership & Management.