WASHINGTON –The administration announced new efforts to pilot “anti-trafficking coordination teams” on Tuesday.
The partnerships of government agencies plays a key role in effectively fighting modern slavery, Attorney General Eric Holder said, in announcing the launch of a new collaborative effort by the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor.
“Under the leadership of the highest-ranking federal law enforcement officials in the districts, these teams will bring together federal agents and prosecutors across agency lines to combat human trafficking threats, dismantle human trafficking networks, and bring traffickers to justice,” said Holder.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened the annual meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to monitor and combat human trafficking. Cabinet-level officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FBI Director Robert Mueller, participated in the discussion.
“We will not rest until this unprecedented collaboration translates into the results that matter most — the liberation of victims and the prosecution of traffickers,” Holder said.
Task force members also voiced plans to develop programs in the coming year that will further the government’s goal of ending modern slavery.
“Secretary Clinton announced at the start of the meeting that the Interagency Task Force over the next year will conduct a government-wide review of different service programs and devise an overarching strategy to improve upon what we are doing here in the United States and to protect victims of human trafficking,” said Luis CdeBaca, ambassador-at-large at the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. “We will seek to ensure that those who work in our juvenile justice system…have the knowledge and training necessary to identify and help victims and become a true model for the rest of the world.”
The task force was established in 2002 under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to organize the fight against human trafficking at the federal level. Last fall marked the 10-year anniversary of the law and agency members on the task force promised to make strides in combating contemporary forms of slavery.