On August 20, the Federal South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force hosted an event to raise public awareness of the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888). The Task Force—led by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and Miami-Dade Police Department—has participated in more than 100 human trafficking community outreach events in 2019.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline connects victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking with services and support, and—in certain cases—facilitates reporting that information to the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force. At the event, Sam Gillis, Law Enforcement Partnership Manager for the National Hotline, presented to a packed house of more than 150 attendees and shared data, trends and information about who can call the hotline and what to expect when calling. Florida ranks third in number of cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, with 767 cases reported in 2018.
To report suspected human trafficking or to obtain resources for victims, please call 1-888-373-7888; text “BeFree” (233733), or live chat at HumanTraffickingHotline.org. The toll-free phone, SMS text lines, and online chat function are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help is available in English, Spanish, Creole, or in more than 200 additional languages. The National Hotline is not managed by law enforcement, immigration or an investigative agency. Correspondence with the National Hotline is confidential and you may request assistance or report a tip anonymously.
Composed of more than 300 members from a variety of sectors, the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force works to increase public awareness, identify victims, ensure that survivors receive assistance, and prosecute traffickers, in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The Task Force’s full-time coordinator, Caridad Mas-Batchelor, who serves as a liaison between the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Miami-Dade Police Department, organized and hosted this event. Caridad—who has a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Intercultural Human Rights from St. Thomas University—brings to the role more than six years of experience serving vulnerable populations, including trafficking survivors, in South Florida.
In advance of Miami Super Bowl 54 in February 2020, the Task Force will continue its efforts to expand partnerships, collaboration, training of state, local, and federal law enforcement officers and prosecutors, and community outreach. The next training event is a Human Trafficking Symposium at Nova Southeastern University on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, which will provide advanced human trafficking training and resources for victim service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, medical professionals, and the local community. Learn more and register for the symposium online here.
If you have questions about the work of the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force, please contact Task Force Coordinator, Caridad Mas-Batchelor, at Caridad.MasBatchelor [at] Rescue.org or on 305-640-9881, Ext. 201.
To learn more about the work of the IRC in Miami and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.
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