COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General hosted a two-day Southeast Human Trafficking Coalition meeting composed of anti-human trafficking advocates from eight states. The coalition is facilitated by the Region IV Administration on Children and Families in Atlanta. Included in the group are state task force and coalition leaders including representatives of government agencies and non-profit organizations.
“Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world and South Carolina sits right between two of the top-20 hubs for it—Atlanta and Charlotte,” says South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. “That’s why we created our Human Trafficking Task Force and hosted this Southeastern meeting. It’s going to take all of us working together to fight this modern-day slavery.”
Members of the meeting convened to discuss partnerships with the National Human Trafficking Hotline, legal innovations in partnering with state courts, and continued efforts to identify and implement best practices in service provision to victims. The group also conferred on its commitment to increasing efforts to combat labor trafficking in the region.
“To turn the tide on trafficking we must be able to properly define it, recognize it, and know who to call when we see it,” said Jerry Redman, Chief Executive Officer of Second Life Tennessee (Chattanooga). “Our working group exists to strengthen collaboration in each of our states and between our states. This commitment to collaboration is vital to begin winning this fight. Trafficking victims’ lives depend on it.”
Release of the 2017 South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force Annual Report
Each year, the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force is legislatively mandated to release an annual report. The report details statewide efforts to abolish modern-day slavery. The 2017 report delivers details regarding prosecution rates, services provided to victims, and a better understanding of where the most trafficking activity is occurring in South Carolina.
Of note, the top five known locations of human trafficking were reported as: Greenville County, Charleston County, Horry County, Richland County, and Beaufort County. The most common method of recruitment was familial. The top three relationships between victims and recruiters were family members/care givers, intimate partners, and friends or acquaintances. The shared data provides critical insight into how targeted prevention and intervention methods will be employed in the coming year by anti-human trafficking advocates.
“The annual report sheds light on a growing issue in South Carolina and the efforts of State Task Force members to address the crime in our communities,” said Kathryn Moorehead, Coordinator of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, “It also outlines South Carolina’s plan to prevent human trafficking, support law enforcement in their investigations, and increase services to support the needs of victims and survivors in our state.”