Northeastern University Releases Report on Response of Law Enforcement Agencies to Human Trafficking
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 3:52 PM

Northeastern University's Institute on Race and Justice has released a report documenting the way in which law enforcement agencies currently identify and respond to human trafficking. The report is based on a national survey sent to 3,000 county, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies. It is the first study to provide a description of local law enforcement agencies’ responses to human trafficking, since previous research on the topic has focused mainly on large municipal agencies. According to the findings from the survey, local law enforcement agencies usually perceive human trafficking as a slight or non-existent problem within their communities, while a much higher proportion of agencies have actually investigated at least one case. Law enforcement agencies that participate in multi-agency human trafficking task forces are much more prepared to identify and investigate trafficking cases. The report also describes demographic trends in trafficking cases investigated between 2000 and 2006, and the difficulties that law enforcement agencies have in identifying and classifying cases of human trafficking.

Based on its findings, the report identifies five steps that law enforcement agencies can use to improve their identification and response to human trafficking, including the formation of a national human trafficking training curriculum, starting a dialogue about dealing with trafficking cases, and continuing to use multi-agency task forces.

To read the full report, click here.

Compiled from: “Understanding and Improving Law Enforcement Responses to Human Trafficking,” Northeastern University Institute on Race and Justice, June 2008.