MONTGOMERY - Attorney General Steve Marshall and the Montgomery Family Sunshine Center announced they will lead a multiagency alliance of state, federal and nongovernmental partners to combat human trafficking in Alabama.
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Alabama Anti Human Trafficking Alliance will share investigative resources to interdict and prosecute human traffickers in Alabama and provide assistance to victims.
“Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. It is a truly heinous crime, committed in the shadows—and in plain sight,” said Marshall. “Through force, fraud, and coercion, traffickers push their victims into demeaning forms of abuse, from sexual exploitation to domestic servitude. The victims are not limited to women and children, but include members of every age, sex, and demographic.
“I am committed to ending human trafficking in Alabama, and have made it a top priority as Attorney General to do so. The Alabama Anti Human Trafficking Alliance will marshal the vast expertise and resources of state and federal law-enforcement agencies and nongovernmental groups, forming a united and powerful front in fighting this scourge on our society.
In October, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, as the lead law enforcement unit, and the Montgomery Family Sunshine Center, as the lead victim service provider, were awarded $2,900,455 in federal funding for a period of three years to create a task force to combat human trafficking statewide.
On Monday, Attorney General Marshall and the Montgomery Family Sunshine Center joined with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for Northern, Middle and Southern Districts, Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wellhouse, Ashakiran Inc., West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, and Poarch Band of Creek Indians in signing a memorandum of understanding officially authorizing their partnership in the newly created Alabama Anti Human Trafficking Alliance.
Under the new partnership, which includes both law enforcement and well-established nongovernmental nonprofit victim service agencies, jurisdictional loopholes in capturing and prosecuting human traffickers will be closed, and victims will be afforded much-needed short-term and long-term support services.
The Attorney General’s Office will provide a special agent to proactively investigate human trafficking cases statewide and provide support to law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting cases. The Office will also make available an assistant attorney general for case investigative guidance, victim and witness advocacy, and will coordinate data and law enforcement committee meetings.
To report suspected human trafficking, contact your local law enforcement agency, or the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Tip line at 1-866-347-2423.