2017 Human Trafficking Task Force Report released, highlights Kentucky’s awareness efforts
The report highlights Kentucky’s new streamlined notification process that better assists in investigations and follow-up victim services for reported cases of human trafficking across the state.
The changes allow for a quicker response to incidents of suspected human trafficking in Kentucky and is one of numerous efforts outlined in the annual report of the Kentucky Human Trafficking Task Force.
The report is the first overall look at the state’s coordinated efforts to fight human trafficking since Beshear’s office and Catholic Charities of Louisville, co-chairs of the task force, received a federal grant in 2016. The grant was the first from the U.S Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office of Victims of Crime ever awarded to a Kentucky agency for human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a growing and gruesome crime in the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “In order to combat it, we needed to streamline the information sharing protocols between our federal, state and local task force members to more efficiently respond to reports of human trafficking. Now, law enforcement can immediately investigate and advocates can immediately offer victim services.”
“As a result, trafficking victims are being identified at a higher rate, response has improved and services are more accessible to victims,” Castellanos said. “Catholic Charities remains committed to the work of victim-centered advocacy and service provision for labor and sex trafficking victims identified in the Commonwealth. We are grateful for the leadership and support of the Office of the Attorney General, and our many other community partners in these efforts.”
Beshear said training all partners to recognize human trafficking has been a key component in streamlining the notification process of potential reports of the crime.
In 2017, Beshear’s office and Catholic Charities conducted 80 statewide trainings, reaching nearly 3,500 individuals and created the state’s first coordinated effort to train hotel staff to recognize and report human trafficking.