One example of a federal initiative explicitly aimed at supporting state and local law enforcement efforts to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable is described in Box 5. Some police agencies and officers have responded to this hesitation to cooperate by detaining youth to ensure their cooperation [ 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 ]. For one thing, youth involved in sex trafficking often do not identify themselves as crime victims [ 4 ], which may make them hesitant to cooperate with police investigations, and many officers report challenges in communicating with victims [ 7 , 8 ]. It should be noted that several of the law enforcement approaches described here apply to human trafficking broadly and are not specific to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. Still, an increasing number of police departments are moving away from arresting young victims suspected of engaging in prostitution and focusing on investigating exploiters and traffickers [ 4 , 5 , 6 ]. Finally, training can equip officers to better understand the roles of victim services and federal law enforcement in trafficking investigations, and to make appropriate referrals for services.
Three examples are described in Box 4. Citizenship and Immigration Services grants T nonimmigrant status to victims of human trafficking, which also makes a victim eligible for HHS certification. USAID also supports individual country assessments of the scope and nature of trafficking and the efforts of government, civil society, and international organization to combat it. Some police agencies and officers have responded to this hesitation to cooperate by detaining youth to ensure their cooperation [ 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 ]. DHS plays a major role in identifying foreign national victims of trafficking. Investigations undertaken by the Boston Police Department's Human Trafficking Unit, for example, focus on holding the buyers of sex accountable by conducting undercover stings and by reaching out to hotels where commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are taking place [ 5 ]. Note also that while participation in task forces is one of the approaches discussed in this section, multisector and interagency task forces are covered in greater detail in Section 6. Still, an increasing number of police departments are moving away from arresting young victims suspected of engaging in prostitution and focusing on investigating exploiters and traffickers [ 4 , 5 , 6 ]. One example of a federal initiative explicitly aimed at supporting state and local law enforcement efforts to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable is described in Box 5. Finally, training can equip officers to better understand the roles of victim services and federal law enforcement in trafficking investigations, and to make appropriate referrals for services. The Chicago Police Department, for example, provides roll-call training to its line officers to alert them to the fact that victims can be found in a variety of settings, such as massage parlors, brothels, escort services, and strip clubs, not just on the street [ 17 ]. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. Indeed, many law enforcement professionals, especially those in smaller agencies and those whose agency is not involved in a task force devoted to this issue, do not identify these crimes as a problem affecting their communities. Agency for International Development USAID funds international programs that prevent trafficking, protect and assist victims, and support prosecutions through training for police and criminal justice personnel. Finally, state and local law enforcement agencies can use several approaches to intervene with perpetrators of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors and gather corroborative evidence for criminal cases so as to minimize the reliance on victims' cooperation and testimony. The Office for Victim Assistance ensures that victims of crimes investigated by the FBI receive the services and notification afforded to them. Department of Homeland Security The DHS Blue Campaign works in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental, and private organizations and strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice. For such evidence-based approaches to work, law enforcement investigators must be aware of techniques that can be used to gather additional evidence so that cases are not completely dependent on victim testimony see the discussion on page This section describes some noteworthy current law enforcement approaches for responding to these crimes. It should be noted that several of the law enforcement approaches described here apply to human trafficking broadly and are not specific to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. And in Dallas, each of the 3, officers in the police department has received 3 hours of training in how to recognize and to identify children and adolescents most likely to become victims of these crimes [ 4 ]. However, secure detention deprives youth of opportunities that are vital to their healthy development [ 9 ] and can be an additional trauma [ 12 , 14 , 15 ]. In addition, federal agencies typically involve state and local law enforcement professionals in their investigations and task forces with the goal of building stronger cases at those levels as well see Section 6. HUD also clarified that persons who are fleeing human trafficking could be considered eligible for housing programs. The guide includes risk factors, protocols if you suspect trafficking, and impacts that trafficking has on learning environments. Training in identifying victims is also available online, offered, for example, by Polaris Project [ 18 ] and the Department of Homeland Security [ 19 ].
Video about federal law enforcement sex trafficking:
Survivor of Juvenile Sex Trafficking Shares Her Story
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