One thing I have learned over the years studying human trafficking is just how effective the government and organizations on the ground can be when they work together. I have seen human trafficking taskforces transform anti-trafficking activities in a country because they brought together all of the agencies and ministries in the government working on this issue with organizations working in the community. It's amazing how much can be accomplished when all the government agencies come together and cooperate and when they also combine the anti-trafficking activities of organizations, they are able to coordinate more effectively and stop the overlap in services and programs and focus their efforts. I think every country in the world needs a working group or taskforce on this issue, which is why I was so excited to see the Human Trafficking Taskforce E-Guide published this week by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime. This e-guide can help existing taskforces and also provides guidelines for those looking to start their own. According to the website the e-guide's "purpose is to assist in the development and day to day operations of an anti-human trafficking task force and to provide fundamental guidance for effective task force operations." The guide provides basic information on human trafficking, a how to guide on forming a taskforce, how to operate one, support victims, and build strong cases. While this e-guide is geared at taskforces in the United States with explanations of US trafficking laws, it could be used in other advanced industrial democratic societies. Expanding its application beyond that would be difficult because countries in the post-Soviet region, my area of expertise do not have the infrastructure to develop many of the recommendations. Still the taskforce models component is an interesting look at different taskforce and working group entities which can vary dependent on the demographics factors and participants. Also according to the website "The Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) maintains a consultant database of subject matter experts who are available to provide consultation, training, and technical assistance to task forces, law enforcement, and victim service agencies." Thus, in addition to this e-guide there is help out there for anyone looking to start a taskforce in their city or state by contacting the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC).
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