Human trafficking is a serious global problem that has become a major threat to public safety here in the United States. Our Attorney General, Eric Holder, captured it when he said this “is not just a global problem – it’s a national crisis.”
The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems by disseminating state-of-the-art, research-based knowledge and practices across the United States and providing grants for the implementation of these strategies to fight crime and serve crime victims. The federal government can be most effective when it engages with state, local, and tribal communities to identify the most pressing crime-related challenges confronting the justice system and to provide information, training, coordination, and innovative approaches for addressing these challenges. We consider the OVC and BJA Human Traffcking Task Force e-Guide to be a shining example of what can result from such partnerships.
Human trafficking is more than a crime – it’s an affront to human dignity and an attack on fundamental humanitarian values. And we have a responsibility at the federal level to do all we can to fight it and to support those who have been subjected to it. The proliferation of human trafficking within and across the United States is one of the most pressing challenges that we face as a Nation. But as the many dedicated victim service providers, police officers, prosecutors, and brave survivors of this horrific crime around the world have shown us, the fight to end it has begun—and with our continued determination, it can be won.
Karol V. Mason
Since the release of the first OVC and BJA Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide in 2011, the field has made significant strides toward meeting the needs of human trafficking victims. To continue our support of this evolving field, OVC and BJA are proud to release an updated version of the e-Guide, which we hope will benefit the many women and men who have dedicated themselves to responding to the crime of human trafficking.
We recognize that effective partnerships between victim services, law enforcement, and criminal justice agencies are essential for identifying trafficking victims and bringing the perpetrators to justice. OVC and BJA teamed up in 2005 to ensure that these relationships were developed and that the members of these multi-disciplinary teams were trained and ready to respond to the various human trafficking scenarios that exist. A critical piece of that training was the initial development of the e-Guide and its dissemination to task forces around the country.
The e-Guide represents the very best input and guidance from experts in victim services, law enforcement, prosecution, and other allied professionals. They shared their insights, their successes, and their challenges, with the hope that their experiences will aid in the understanding and education of others working in this field.
This updated e-Guide includes new resources, case studies, training guidance, and best practices. We hope that it is widely used and shared throughout the field and provides the information that is needed to form and maintain successful human trafficking task forces.
As this e-Guide is a “living” document, it will be continually updated to ensure it reflects the most current information possible. We invite you to contribute to the e-Guide as you identify unique cases and test new approaches in your work. We at OVC and BJA thank you for your continued dedication and perseverance to improving the Nation’s response to human trafficking.
Joye E. Frost
Denise E. O’Donnell