‘Tis the Season
for Human Trafficking Training
‘Tis the Season for Human Trafficking Training
Dr. Dana R. Hunter and Mary Kate Andrepont
As we end 2022 and look towards the New Year, we pause to share with you the significant efforts surrounding Human Trafficking training and awareness that have taken place throughout the year. Louisiana’s leaders have not slowed down on educating professionals on and raising awareness on the issue of human trafficking. In April 2022, First Lady Donna Edwards held a National Human Trafficking Awareness Summit. The event brought together over 500 leaders and professionals from across the globe during the 2022 N.C.A.A. Final Four Men’s Basketball Tournament and marked the launch of Louisiana’s first statewide public awareness campaign, Stop Trafficking Louisiana: Human Trafficking is R.E.A.L. As a result of this inaugural event, First Lady Edwards and the Governor’s Office of Human Trafficking Prevention, through the Louisiana Child and Youth Trafficking Collaborative, have trained more than 2,914 professionals on human trafficking awareness and response.
On October 6, 2022, First Lady Edwards hosted her 5th Virtual Global Human Trafficking Summit, which attracted more than 300 registrants. The summit included national and state experts who gave moving presentations on the importance of a trauma-informed care approach when serving victims and survivors of human trafficking. First Lady Edwards also blessed summit participants with a pleasant surprise — a presentation by the co-author of Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life, Dr. Chan Hellman. Dr. Hellman shared powerful remarks about the importance of instilling hope in our most vulnerable citizens as a tool to aid in their recovery.
Later in October 2022, the Office of Human Trafficking Prevention hosted Louisiana’s statewide Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Convening in Lake Charles, LA. The 1.5-day workshop brought together existing and emerging task forces, their members, and public leaders to strengthen our regional community’s responses to human trafficking. Anti-human trafficking task forces are widely accepted as a best practice to address human trafficking through a victim-centered and collaborative team approach. The Task Force Convening included:
- Sessions on task force development.
- Innovations in investigations and prosecutions.
- Collaborations to serve victims.
- Partnerships with tribal communities.
- Grant funding opportunities through the US DOJ Office of Victims of Crime.
The ninety participants’ diverse experiences and professional backgrounds created a rich discussion and collaboration environment. Attendees hailed from all across the State of Louisiana (rural and urban communities), Texas, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. They represented a variety of professions, including child welfare, C.A.C.s, healthcare, community-based organizations, and legal and law enforcement officers from federal, state, local and tribal agencies.
Next month, Louisiana will recognize Human Trafficking Awareness Prevention Month. Whether you work on the frontlines or are a member of the public, we encourage you to join prevention and awareness activities in your community during the month of January. You can get involved by attending a training, sharing the Stop Trafficking Louisiana social media posts @stoptraffla, or downloading awareness materials at humantrafficking.la.gov/resources. You can also actively prevent human trafficking, exploitation, and other forms of violence by supporting organizations and programs that uplift and empower vulnerable groups in your community.
For additional information on training opportunities and activities throughout the month of January, please follow the Stop Trafficking Louisiana social media platforms: @stoptraffla.