The NCSL Blog

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By Nicole Ezeh

January was National Human Trafficking Prevention month.

Human traffickingHuman trafficking, as a federal crime, occurs when an entity uses force, fraud, or coercion to procure labor or commercial sex acts. On Jan. 31, NCSL’s Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety Standing Committee held a joint briefing with the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) on available human trafficking tools and funding available to the states.

Committee members and guests heard from the Associate Director of OVC’s Human Trafficking Division, Brecht Donoghue, and Senior Policy Advisor and Law Enforcement Program Coordinator, Alissa Huntoon, who shared information about the nearly 500 anti-human trafficking grant and cooperative agreement awards in OVC’s Human Trafficking Division’s portfolio. In addition, the speakers provided many tools and opportunities for technical assistance available to state and local entities. Please see the speakers’ slides for more information.

The content of the briefing went well in hand with the DOJ’s new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, released on Jan. 31. The new national strategy includes efforts to increase capacity provide victim centered services, expand dissemination of human trafficking training and guidance, and step-up coordination in labor trafficking investigations and prosecutions.

States are indispensable players in the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking. States are often the providers of victim centered services as well as the venue for prosecution of traffickers. For more information on state level anti-trafficking efforts, check out NCSL’s Human Trafficking Overview.

Nicole Ezeh is a legislative specialist in NCSL's State-Federal Relations Program.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.