AG: Human trafficking task force established

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced this week that he has established a statewide task force to focus on preventing human trafficking and raising awareness about the issue.

McDaniel announced the creation of the Attorney General’s State Task Force for the Prevention of Human Trafficking at a news conference this afternoon. The task force is composed of law enforcement officials, state agency representatives, community leaders and victims’ rights advocates from across Arkansas. Its first meeting will be Nov. 19 at the state Capitol.

“The Attorney General’s Task Force is united in the goals to improve the response to human trafficking in Arkansas and work cooperatively to end this crime,” McDaniel said. “Human trafficking is beneath the dignity of the people of Arkansas, and it takes all of us working together to prevent it.”

The Human Trafficking Act of 2013 calls for the Attorney General to establish the task force to address every aspect of human trafficking in the state, including the forced labor trafficking and sex trafficking of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.

The task force is to develop a state plan to prevent trafficking, work to improve information sharing among governmental and nongovernmental organizations that deal with the issue, raise public awareness of human trafficking and create a training curriculum for law enforcement officials.

The Act was a component of the Attorney General’s legislative package this year, and it enjoyed broad bipartisan support. The efforts in the Legislature this year to strengthen Arkansas’s anti-human trafficking laws gained national recognition. The Polaris Project identified Arkansas as its most-improved state in addressing the crime.