A.G. Schimel: Commends partners, announces new data collection and encourages observance of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel commended the work of public
and private partners in combatting human trafficking as he noted the observance of
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Attorney General
Schimel also announced the launch of new data collection tools to enhance the state’s
understanding of the prevalence of human trafficking.

“January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. I encourage
everyone to take time to understand what human trafficking is and to know that we
all have a role to play in fighting it. I want to thank all the citizens, agencies and
businesses who have already joined our mission to make Wisconsin inhospitable to
human traffickers,” said Attorney General Schimel. “In 2018, we trained
approximately 5,000 people on how to recognize and report human trafficking. We
now have ongoing partnerships with hotels, convention bureau executives, tribal
casinos, trucking and busing companies, and other businesses and professional
associations with a workforce in a position to see and report this crime. These
partnerships will continue to expand the network of citizens who can assist law
enforcement by reporting suspected trafficking, which means victims will get help
sooner and traffickers will be apprehended more often.”

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) provides expertise and leadership on
policy development, education and training, victims’ rights and services,
enforcement, and prosecution of human trafficking through its Human Trafficking
Initiative. The mission of the Human Trafficking Initiative is to make Wisconsin
inhospitable to human traffickers and to support victim-centered strategies and
partnerships throughout the state.

DOJ Communications Office dojcommunications@doj.state.wi.us (608) 266-1220
The DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Human Trafficking Bureau
provides specialized training and operational assistance to law enforcement to
identify, target and prosecute traffickers. Recent bureau partnerships with the
Wisconsin State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies continue to greatly
enhance investigative coordination and intelligence sharing. The bureau works with
all levels of law enforcement to promote victim-sensitive approaches and to assist
with demand suppression operations, to deter sex buyers who create the demand that
fuels the crime of human trafficking.

Attorney General Schimel also announced today the launch of new data collection
tools, through the DOJ Bureau of Justice Information and Analysis, to enhance the
understanding of reported incidents of human trafficking in Wisconsin communities.
Throughout 2018 divisions within DOJ collaborated to create a survey to be
distributed to all law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin this month. The
survey will include basic information from all agencies throughout the state
regarding the known frequency of sex trafficking incidents and charges, as well as
information from law enforcement agencies regarding agency practices and
procedures as they relate to human trafficking cases from 2018.

In addition to the survey, a longer-term solution will be launched this month that will
allow all law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin to report incident-level detail about
sex trafficking and labor trafficking cases through the Uniform Crime Reporting
program. This collection effort will include details such as victim and offender
demographics, relationships, clearance information, location of incidents, and
weapons used, and will be required for all reported trafficking cases statewide,
including cases later deemed unfounded by the agency. The information collected
through these new tools will help facilitate the understating of human trafficking
occurring in the state of Wisconsin.

More information about human trafficking can be found on DOJ’s Human Trafficking
Initiative website: www.BeFreeWisconsin.com.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center provides a 24-7 hotline in multiple
languages for victims or to report a tip: 1-888-373-7888.

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