CJPA Briefing On State Actions To Address Human Trafficking

On Thursday, March 28th, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network.  The briefing discussed state actions to address human trafficking, including executive actions, taskforces, and legislative solutions. 

The briefing featured presentations from Sarah Byrne, Partner at Moore & Van Allen PLLC and Hollie Nadel, Survivor Leader, and included a discussion of the crime of human trafficking, its impact on victims, and state strategies for assisting survivors. 

A few takeaways from the briefing include:

  • Human trafficking is generally described as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of people through force, fraud, or deception, with the aim of exploiting them for profit.” Traffickers compel or force their victims to provide labor or services, engage in commercial sex acts, or commit crimes in furtherance of the victim’s own exploitation. 
  • The commission of crimes becomes a common point of entry for trafficking victims into the justice system.  In a 2023 survey by Polaris, a majority of survivors said they became justice involved because of criminal acts committed as a direct result of their trafficking. 
  • In recent years, Governors have prioritized actions to combat human trafficking, including issuing executive orders, signing or approving legislation, establishing human trafficking task forces, and highlighting media awareness campaigns.
  • For information on nongovernmental human trafficking entities that can help victims and survivors of human trafficking, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provides a matrix of OVC-funded human trafficking services grantees and task forces.  The U.S. Department of Justice also provides a collection of resources for human trafficking survivors, including victim assistance resources, technical assistance and training, and funding information. 

NGA holds monthly briefings for Governors’ Criminal Justice Policy Advisors. Please reach out to Maria Kearl (mkearl@nga.org) for additional information.