Jefferson City, Mo. September 6, 2017 (STL.NEWS)– Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley today convened the second meeting of the statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. The Task Force, the first of its kind in Missouri, includes law-enforcement officials, prosecutors, social-services providers, victims’ advocates, and individual human trafficking survivors. The mission of the Task Force is to develop a wide range of initiatives to fight human trafficking in Missouri and to provide additional support to trafficking survivors.
The Task Force is part of Attorney General Hawley’s aggressive anti-trafficking campaign. In July, the Attorney General’s Office helped direct what is believed to be the largest anti-trafficking raid in Missouri history, targeting 18 separate locations across southwest Missouri. Following these raids, the Attorney General’s Office filed suit against 16 defendants.
“Fighting human trafficking in Missouri remains a top priority for my office,” Hawley said. “Arresting and prosecuting human traffickers is a critical part of that fight, and we have aggressively pursued traffickers across the State. But defeating trafficking in Missouri requires more: a holistic approach that engages law enforcement, social-service providers, and community members. The Task Force is an indispensable part of this effort.”
The group discussed recent progress on initiatives relating to increasing public engagement, education efforts, and law enforcement coordination.