““Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
The Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Consortium (WAHTC) was convened in 2002 to develop a strategic plan and establish priorities for responding to the issue of human trafficking in Wisconsin. It was designed to be demographically and geographically representative of all those that may have a role in responding to the issue, as well as to include those with expertise from across the criminal justice system and victim services providers within the community.
The original committee, which has now evolved into the Consortium, was tasked with:
– Advocating for victims of human trafficking
– Upholding the principles of human rights
– Creating an environment in the state of Wisconsin where human trafficking and the exploitation of human beings is not tolerated or accepted
The committee worked to prevent human trafficking, protect victims and their rights, promote prosecution of perpetrators, and build partnerships that promote respectful collaboration between survivors of human trafficking, communities and systems working to identify potential and current victims, and to strive to serve and protect victims of human trafficking in Wisconsin. The ultimate goal was to replicate these efforts in local communities.
In February of 2008, OJA, in collaboration with the Committee, released Hidden in Plain Sight: A Baseline Survey of Human Trafficking in Wisconsin based on information provided by state law enforcement agencies and service providers. Prompted by the survey results, which showed that there were potentially hundreds of victims of trafficking in our state, as well as the efforts of Human Trafficking Committee members and other stakeholders, Wisconsin policy makers have passed legislation outlawing human trafficking in Wisconsin (2007 WI Act 116).
In 2012 the committee completed work on the State of WI Human Trafficking Response Protocol. The protocol was developed through the collaborative effort and diligence of members of the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance Human Trafficking Committee. The Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance (OJA) Human Trafficking Committee is a diverse team of service providers, community activists, attorneys, law enforcement agents, and academics working to address the problem of human trafficking in the State of Wisconsin.
The purpose of the document is to provide individuals and agencies in Wisconsin with comprehensive resources and guidelines for responding to the crime of human trafficking. It is hoped that the use of the protocol and resource manual will not only ensure safety for
victims but also create awareness of the issue of human trafficking and promote positive systemic changes through a collaborative and transparent process.
The current Consortium continues to be made up of state-wide entities representing: service providers, community activists, attorneys, law enforcement agencies, academic/education representatives, human trafficking survivors, faith-based partners, and government agencies.
The group meets quarterly in Madison, WI to continue work in four key areas – as assigned to four workgroups:
– Systems Response
– Data Collection/Research
For a description of each workgroup’s task list, please go directly to the tab on the WAHTC website.
**This website was developed through a grant given by an anonymous donor. The site is intended to be used as an informational clearing house. WAHTC is not responsible for misinformation that may be given to us. We make every effort to validate information before posting it.