U.S. Attorney Recognizes Human Trafficking Prevention Month
BOSTON – U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins recognizes Human Trafficking Prevention Month and reaffirms the office’s commitment to seeking justice for all trafficking victims and survivors.
In August 2022, Rollins created a new standalone criminal Civil Rights and Human Trafficking Unit which has, to date, charged nearly a dozen new criminal cases and initiated several other ongoing investigations in the areas of sex trafficking, labor trafficking and human smuggling. Since its inception, the new unit has assisted 15 victims in eight different states who were victims of trafficking here in Massachusetts. On the prevention front, the office just kicked off an indicator training series this month – partnering with Homeland Security Investigations – aimed at a broad range of employers, including city and state inspectors, as well as hospitality and travel employees, just to name a few.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery. It is a civil rights violation of the highest order that impacts victims across races, genders, age, immigration status and socio-economic standing. Traffickers use threats, lies, grooming techniques, or violence to exploit vulnerabilities, manipulate and control their victims. Sadly, this crime often goes entirely unseen or ignored. That is why we launched our indicator training series with HSI – to educate the public about labor and sex trafficking and to expose how prevalent it is here in Massachusetts. We recently trained over 100 public employees in Boston, with additional trainings sessions forthcoming. My hope is that by providing people across all sectors the tools they need to spot signs of human trafficking and by sharing the lived experiences of those who have endured it, we can encourage and empower workers in all trades to take part in helping protect the welfare of our most vulnerable. Human trafficking is a real threat to human dignity, public safety and public health. We need urgent and meaningful solutions,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins.
As part of its outreach efforts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has established strong community partnerships with several local and state agencies to increase and improve collaboration. This includes regular meetings with the Commonwealth Anti-Trafficking Task Force; the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence’s Human Trafficking Subcommittee; the Western Massachusetts Human Trafficking Task Force; and the Plymouth County Human Trafficking Task Force. The office has also committed to continuing to meet with and learn from survivor-lead organizations across Massachusetts.
If you or someone you know may be impacted or experiencing human trafficking, please visit https://polarisproject.org/ for information and resources.