Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Announces Justice Department Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking
Department Strategy Supports National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
(STL.News) On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland released the Justice Department’s new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
Rooted in the foundational pillars and priorities of the interagency National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, which President Biden released on Dec. 3, 2021, the Justice Department’s National Strategy is expansive in scope. It aims to enhance the department’s capacity to prevent human trafficking; to prosecute human trafficking cases; and to support and protect human trafficking victims and survivors.
“Human trafficking is an insidious crime,” said Attorney General Garland. “Traffickers exploit and endanger some of the most vulnerable members of our society and cause their victims unimaginable harm. The Justice Department’s new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking will bring the full force of the Department to this fight.”
“This national strategy will enhance the important work that is already being done in New Hampshire to combat human trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney John J. Farley. “Through the New Hampshire Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force, we work closely with a broad coalition of entities to address human trafficking using a victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally-responsive approach. This joint effort is not just focused on prosecuting human traffickers. It is a comprehensive approach that includes training citizens to identify victims of human trafficking and providing victims with the assistance they need to escape from harmful situations and rebuild their lives.”
Among other things, the Justice Department’s multi-year strategy to combat all forms of human trafficking will:
Strengthen engagement, coordination and joint efforts to combat human trafficking by prosecutors in all 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and by federal law enforcement agents nationwide.
Establish federally-funded, locally-led anti-human trafficking task forces that support sustained state law enforcement leadership and comprehensive victim assistance.
Step up departmental efforts to end forced labor by increasing attention, resources and coordination in labor trafficking investigations and prosecutions.
Enhance initiatives to reduce vulnerability of American Indians and Alaska Natives to violent crime, including human trafficking, and to locate missing children.
Develop and implement new victim screening protocols to identify potential human trafficking victims during law enforcement operations and encourage victims to share important information.
Increase capacity to provide victim-centered assistance to trafficking survivors, including by supporting efforts to deliver financial restoration to victims.
Expand dissemination of federal human trafficking training, guidance and expertise.
Advance innovative demand-reduction strategies.
The department’s strategy will be implemented under the direction of the National Human Trafficking Coordinator designated by the Attorney General in accordance with the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017.