DOJ releases human trafficking report

Report used to address prevention, enforcement, victim services
DOJ releases human trafficking report

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has released a report that assessed the extent of human trafficking across the state.

The Baseline Assessment of Human Trafficking in the state of Wisconsin report was compiled through a voluntary survey of law enforcement, prosecutors, victim witness coordinators and governmental social service providers.

The report found that human trafficking in the state takes the form of both sex and labor trafficking, and it is committed against adults and minors. It also found most of the human trafficking cases reported occur in areas of the state that are highly populated and have a significant tourist or visitor population.

Early intervention is critical for helping victims or potential victims leave or avoid a life of trafficking, according to the report. There is also a lack of adequate services for victims of human trafficking throughout the state. The most notable services needed are adequate housing, healthcare and advocacy.

The report also found that progress has been made in multiple areas of the state to address the lack of adequate services for victims of human trafficking, and further training on human trafficking is needed by law enforcement and other professionals who may encounter human trafficking activity.

The lack of standardized definitions of and reporting on human trafficking make it difficult to collect accurate figures on the crimes, according to the report.

“This report provides an insightful snapshot of human trafficking as it exists in Wisconsin today,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said in the release. “We’ve been working to train those in criminal justice and public safety to better recognize the signs of trafficking, but gaps still exist in awareness and understanding of the crime.”

Van Hollen said he appreciates the people who responded to the survey because the information can be used to better address prevention, enforcement and victim services.

To view the entire report, click here.