WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today issued the following statement for Human Trafficking Prevention Month:
“Human trafficking is a form of slavery. In the District of Columbia, human trafficking includes the sex trafficking of children and abuse of workers,” said AG Racine. “Most of these crimes occur in the shadows, hidden from the public. Tens of thousands of people are trafficked throughout the United States each year—and tragically, the District is not immune. The Office of the Attorney General works tirelessly alongside committed partners—including individuals and not for profit organizations—to combat these horrific crimes against our children and those seeking to provide for their families. To stop human trafficking, we must increase awareness and train residents to understand the signs of illegal trafficking so they can report these crimes to authorities. We must also ensure that victims of human trafficking receive the support and resources they need to heal from the harm caused to them. We’re proud to announce a new partnership with Cardozo Education Campus to support more community education to help eradicate these crimes.”
Today, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is announcing a new partnership with Cardozo Education Campus to educate members of the community about human trafficking, and how to help prevent it and report it if they see it happening. The collaboration will begin with a public education event on January 14, with Principal Mola on Instagram Live. Through this partnership, OAG will train students, school staff, and parents on recognizing and reporting trafficking – potentially reaching over 700 members of the school community. This announcement continues OAG’s collaborative efforts with local government partners, service providers, and organizations throughout the District to raise public awareness and increase education about preventing and stopping child sex trafficking through community trainings and outreach, public service announcements, and educational materials.
At the beginning of 2020, OAG began co-chairing the DC Human Trafficking Task Force alongside the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Through this task force, the District’s public safety agencies and anti-trafficking organizations work together to create a comprehensive response to trafficking in the District by focusing on preventing these crimes and ensuring that survivors and potential victims of trafficking have access to the necessary services and support.
Last year, OAG reintroduced legislation—the Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults Through Mandatory Reporting Amendment Act, —which mandates trafficking-specific training for mandated reporters. Child sex trafficking is a form of child abuse regardless of who the perpetrator is. In fact, Polaris Project, who operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline, indicates that they received 185 contacts reporting human trafficking in D.C. in 2020.
Any concerns about child sex trafficking should be reported by community members. For emergencies and immediate assistance, always contact 911. Following this, report any concerns of child sex trafficking to the CFSA Hotline at (202) 671-7233. For additional assistance in reporting and locating exploited youth, residents can call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678, and the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
OAG provides training to youth and adults on human trafficking, including what trafficking looks like in the District, red flags, and warning signs in the community, and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked. Organizations may contact OAG’s anti-trafficking team at firstname.lastname@example.org for training opportunities.