AG Kaul announces Wisconsin anti-human trafficking task force

AG Kaul announces Wisconsin anti-human trafficking task force
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:22 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - During National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Attorney General Josh Kaul has announced a new statewide, multi-disciplinary task force comprised of federal, state, and tribal law enforcement and victim service providers dedicated to supporting survivors of human trafficking and ensuring justice is served by those who commit the crime.

The Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force is led by the Wisconsin DOJ, Division of Criminal Investigation, and Project Respect.

“This task force will enhance efforts in Wisconsin to combat human trafficking and provide support for survivors,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “By bringing law enforcement and victim service providers together, we can help ensure that Wisconsin is taking a comprehensive approach to fighting this crime.”

“A coordinated strategy is needed to actively engage with the community to develop trust, build relationships, support survivor identification, and incorporate feedback from survivors to improve Wisconsin’s response to this crime,” said Project Respect Executive Director Jan Miyasaki.

Building on the foundation established by the previous Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force from 2015-17 co-led by the Office of the Attorney General and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, WAHTTF upholds the intent of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

WAHTTF is in the critical first steps of formalizing its structure, operational protocols, and relationships with key stakeholders for its multidisciplinary statewide team and, in 2023, plans to begin expanding its membership to include law enforcement, victim service providers, government agencies, tribal entities, and community-based organizations. WAHTTF also plans to collect and share data on human trafficking in Wisconsin, to provide a clearer understanding of the crime in our state.

Collaboration between law enforcement, victim service providers, and other stakeholders is crucial to the successful proactive investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases at the federal and local levels.

In addition to DOJ and Project Respect, membership on WAHTTF’s Steering Committee includes the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Oneida Tribal Police Department, the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, Family Support Centers based in Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties, and United Migrant Opportunity Service based in Milwaukee and Oshkosh.

WAHTTF is funded by a multi-year grant from the U.S. DOJ Office for Victims of Crime.