Florida has one of the highest instances of human trafficking in the United States, and Orange County leads the state in the number of trafficking cases referred to the Department of Children and Families.
In response, a team of law-enforcement officials, child-welfare professionals and representatives from numerous service organizations has formed the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force. “It’s a cause no one can ignore,” said Tomas Lares, task force chairman and president of Florida Abolitionists. “One victim is too many.”
The task force brings together more than a dozen subcommittees on a variety of topics ranging from law-enforcement to housing. The goal is to have seamless services and a victim-centered approach. One of the main goals of the newly-formed task force is to provide emergency shelter for victims. The Lifeboat Project, a Central Florida nonprofit that provides services to human trafficking victims, plans to use modular homes for housing, and is currently looking for land.
Each subcommittee of the task force is partially tasked with securing funding for their targeted area. There is no funding yet for the task force, and members and other associates so far are working pro-bono.
Learn more at Amy Pavuk’s Orlando Sentinel article: Authorities launch Orlando human-trafficking task force.