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Human Trafficking

Human traffickers prey on some of the most vulnerable members of our society to exploit them for labor, for sex and for servitude of all kinds.  Their crimes, appropriately described as modern-day slavery, have no place in a nation that has overcome the scourge of slavery.  That’s why the Department of Justice is committed—and I am personally determined—to hold human traffickers accountable, provide support to trafficking survivors, and stand up for the rights and the dignity that they deserve.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, June 25, 2015

Commercial sex traffickers trade in, and make money on, the vulnerability of their teenage and young adult victims.  Few, if any, crimes are more outrageous or harmful to their victims, and those who engage in this conduct deserve the full attention of our joint law enforcement efforts.  Those on the other side of these criminal transactions – the sex buyers – should also take notice, for they are an equal part of the problem, and they too will have a price to pay........"

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, January 11, 2015


Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise, valued to be an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. After drug trafficking, human trafficking is the world's second most profitable criminal enterprise, a status it shares with illegal arms trafficking. Sex trafficking can and does take place in every community, no matter the cultural make up, the affluence, or the location of a community.  No community is immune from being affected by the exploitation of human beings for commercial sexual activity.

In Rhode Island, alleged crimes of human and sex trafficking are vigorously investigated. A law enforcement task force comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement, and federal and state prosecutors, meet regularly to share information and to jointly investigate alleged crimes of human and sex trafficking.


Training & Protocol for Law Enforcement

The United States Attorney's Office provides comprehensive training to local, state and federal law enforcement officers and agents; created a local, state and federal law enforcement task force, which meets regularly, to share investigative information and to work collaboratively to investigate suspected cases of sex trafficking; and taken a leadership role in the formation of a multidisciplinary task force comprised of law enforcement, prosecutors, healthcare providers, child protection specialists and community-based service providers.  Most significantly, this task force created a protocol for law enforcement to be employed when victims of human and sex trafficking are identified; and raised public awareness about sex trafficking and the impact on victims and the community through an intensive program of community outreach, speaking engagements, media interviews, and participation in summits, forums,  panel and roundtable discussions.

Updated August 10, 2016