Contact: Joe Scialfa or Gina Paige ― 608-266-9000

(MADISON) – In 2016, over 7,000 human trafficking cases were reported nationwide to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, including in Wisconsin. To help combat this growing problem, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Department of Justice (DOJ) implemented the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force in 2015. Since its inception, the Task Force has been developing a cross-system, comprehensive, trauma-informed service and response system for minors who have been trafficked or are at-risk of being sex trafficked.

This year, the Task Force is unveiling a new series of webinars developed with the support of the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association aimed at training hospitality staff on how to spot the signs of human trafficking within the hotel industry.

“Over the course of my thirty year career in law enforcement, I’ve found partnerships between private and public, criminal justice and non-criminal justice, organizations always leads to safer communities,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “I’m confident our work with the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association and their members will lead to increased awareness and recoveries of human trafficking victims.”

The first webinar, which focuses on hotels, was introduced last month at the Task Force’s quarterly meeting in Oshkosh.

“Based on data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, human sex traffickers frequently capitalize on the anonymity at hotels and motels for the purpose of trafficking,” said DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson. “This training is just one of many tools we’ve added to our toolbox to help put a stop to this horrible crime.”

Earlier this year the Task Force released training for child welfare and youth justice workers and the Wisconsin Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Indicator and Response Guide, which helps members of the public and professionals who work directly with youth determine whether a child may be at risk.

To report suspected human trafficking of a minor, go to the Report Abuse link on the DCF website or call your local human services agency or law enforcement.

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