More than 400 representatives of local, state and national organizations gathered for the 2nd Annual Conference on Combating Human Trafficking in Maryland. “The most sacred duty of any government is to promote the safety of our people,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Working together with all of our partners in law enforcement, we’ve assembled quite a collection of public servants and leaders in the fight against human trafficking. If we make better choices about how to use and share data, pass stronger laws to go after traffickers and continue to be proactive in our law enforcement efforts and victim outreach, we will get better results for our most vulnerable people.”
All of the government and private sector partners involved in this effort have worked closely together to combat human trafficking, and in the past year have made significant accomplishments. Among them:
• There has been expanded law enforcement activities and victim outreach services.
• 1,097 juvenile caseworkers statewide have been trained in Child Victim Identification and Risk Assessment. The Department of Juvenile Services has deployed its risk assessment tool at two female detention facilities. Full implementation of the screening tool at all Juvenile Services intake offices in the community and facilities will begin on June 1, 2013.
• The Maryland Department of Human Resources is ensuring that child victims are treated as child neglect cases and that the children receive appropriate placement and care. The Department of Human Resources will integrate screening questions for trafficking within its national model screening tool beginning July 2013
• Maryland’s Mental Hygiene Administration is working to provide uninsured victims with mental health and addictions treatment. They are assisting nonprofit providers in obtaining critical vital records documents for victims at no cost.
• A Human Trafficking Intelligence Manager has been hired to develop data-driven intelligence and been assigned to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center. The Manager collects, analyzes, and disseminate data statewide, while working to improve communications to resolve confusion or contradiction among various agencies.
Learn more at the Southern Maryland News Net article: Conference on Combating Human Trafficking in Maryland.