Quarterly Membership Meeting and Human Trafficking Briefing
On Monday, June 11, three dozen members of the FBISDCAAA and guests received an update from SAC John Brown, including upcoming events where the FBI San Diego field office will participate, like PRIDE on July 14 and National Night Out in August. More information on upcoming events is on the Events page of our website; keep an eye on your email for more updates and opportunities to get involved.
Todd Hemmen, Supervisory Special Agent with the Violent Crimes Against Children and Civil Rights squad, gave a fascinating presentation about human trafficking, a $150 billion per year industry. While the Thirteenth Amendment (1865) abolished slavery, the Trafficking Victims Protections Act (TVPA) signed into law in 2000 combats trafficking people, especially into the sex trade, slavery, and involuntary servitude. Legal elements of force, fraud, and coercion are found in three types of human trafficking: commercial sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and domestic servitude. In our cross-border region, Mr. Hemmen pointed out the difference between alien smuggling (a crime against the border, where consent is typically provided) and human trafficking (a crime against a person, where there is no consent).
Human trafficking is on the rise in America and it is a crime of opportunity. The Polaris Project reported a 13 percent increase in human trafficking in 2017 and more than 10,000 victims. Eighty Child Exploitation Task Forces (CETFs), including one in San Diego, cooperate and collaborate with federal, state, and local governments; working groups; and non-governmental organizations to combat trafficking of children. Partnerships with the Polaris Project and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are critical to their success. When investigating human trafficking crimes, the FBI’s top priority is maintaining a victim-centered approach amidst the challenge of resource coordination. Attorneys, linguists, social workers, shelter and medical service providers, and relocation support all must be coordinated to support victims of human trafficking and our local San Diego field office has three victim support specialists who make sure the victims’ needs are always a top priority.
If you see something, say something. 1-800-CALL-FBI is your connection to our friends at the FBI. If you think you may have information about a potential trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888.