Human trafficking is one of the world's fastest growing criminal activities, operating on the same scale as the illegal trade of guns and drugs. Fueled by global economic conditions and increased international mobility, the market for, and trade of, human beings continues to expand rapidly. Exact numbers are difficult to calculate due to the underground nature of the crime, but the International Labour Organization estimates that up to 21 million people are trafficked internationally each year. Existing human trafficking research has found a lack of: coordination; proactive investigative strategies; information sharing; victim-centered approaches; training; and a host of other barriers impeding the successful identification, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) funded the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to provide law enforcement related training and technical assistance (TTA) to task forces who receive funding from BJA and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). In partnership with AEquitas and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, IACP will conduct a comprehensive analysis of task force training and technical assistance needs and will match those needs with available resources and the coordination of targeted TTA to support innovative investigative and prosecutorial techniques. Additionally, AEquitas, IACP and John Jay will work with the task forces to provide peer-to-peer learning opportunities and TTA on evidence-based practices.