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Cracking Down on Human Trafficking in South Carolina

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Cracking Down on Human Trafficking in South Carolina

Trafficking state were joined by lee daniels a lawyer with murphy in graham and he does pro bono work on behalf of victims and also works with the south carolina human trafficking task force.

So let's throw up a few as it is six right now want to talk about how nationally were affected by human trafficking agency here that down twelve to fourteen year olds those of the average age that they enter the trade in the us a lot of them one at a six runaways are recruited into trafficking california harbors three of the f b i's thirteen highest child trafficking areas the national human trafficking hotline they receive calls.

More calls from texas than any other state in the us.

So a lot of statistics out there that the apple pie charts as well to school to show you and what it looks like we'll start to think about percentages of things like that.

Let's go to south carolina so we can see what things are here so we got it looks like in greeneville forty nine percent of human trafficking cases opened why soo much and breathe the cool you know one thing that our attorney general alan wilson pointed out last week when he is releasing our statewide task force's annual report is this in greenville in our state generally sits right between two hub trafficking that is charlotte atlanta.

We also see is is agencies like sheriff's department greenville and folks here in north charleston a charleston in richland county or law forces figure out how to investigate these crimes to prosecute these crimes and so some of the increase may see in places like greenville may be a reflection of the increase capacity their local or force it now has to respond to these crimes.

Well we were running some numbers earlier two hundred and ninety million dollars in the underground atlanta alone with me this is fundamentally an economic crime and that's why traffickers engage in it is because it's profitable in so you're exactly right i mean look when you sell a brick of drugs you've got to go back and get to supply but you have a victim trapped you can sell him or her over and over and this is big business and this is profitable business and that's what attracts traffickers to this work what so surprising is how hard it is to prosecute now we have another graphic so he can pop that up as well take a look at this half of cases are dismissed.

Why a great question.

I'm not a prosecutor so only answer for them but also you this it's really difficult to prosecute trafficking case one of the things us evicted do is to testify against that trafficker about some of the most violent exploitative and traumatic moments of his or her life right and one thing we also don't realize that sometimes there's a lot of complex relational dynamics between the victim in the traffic or you know in our statewide into a port that was released last week player share data with us of the cases that were called in from south carolina the national hotline the most common relationship between a victim and the recruiter was a familiar relationship the second most common was their intimate partners imagine asking a victim to testify against a family member or former intimate partner about their commercial rate it's a really difficult thing to do was just going to interject though is that there's such a psychological aspect to it so barbara meyer who spoke to earlier today she was saying that it is all psychological it's not just being held in chains it's the mental chains that hold and so there are different things like that trauma bonding was one of them for psychological terms lou of course stockholm syndrome is another one is so slow and fear and just plain fear.

I think that maybe the hollywood version has been presented the is that there needs to be physical restraint and that's just not with the losses in our state that's also not with the federal law says and conversation were not having his labor trafficking right that does affect people in south carolina in the hospitality industry in the restaurant industry effects for nationals and there's a whole different set of ears to prosecute those cases rail to the trafficking cases very talked about right now to tell me what the south carolina human trafficking task force is doing today sure has a great question the legislature in two thousand twelve require the attorney general's office to convene a statewide task force and they've done that and it's grown since last year the task force which is chaired by their office has convened has formed ten subcommittees on the chair for the legal innovation subcommittee.

We have health care subcommittee where forensic nurses are going across the state telling nurses how to recognize as crime education subcommittees legislative subcommittees and what we're doing the big picture is this take the silos now we're all doing great work in different areas the state and even if nears the country will bring important from other states apart from washing dc.

Let's learn from each other was figure out what each other doing scored an eight it's not duplicate efforts and i think the attorney general's office reserves a lot of credit for coordinating that most definitely as he looked down the road to twenty eighteen and any other additional efforts that the task force is going be doing more involvement from local state and federal law enforcement is a great question.

Just last week that same office the attorney general's office brought together eight states across the southeast and so we had folks from mississippi to florida kentucky tennessee alabama georgia come to the attorney general's office and share best practices here's what was worked.

For example i'm interested in how we engage the judiciary how to engage judges howling get lawyers.

Kentucky has already done that and they told me how they had done that what works what doesn't work so this is the kind of practise i find encouraging.

I think that are going to increase our impact in the state and that leads me to my next question so what does work and what doesn't work.

That's a great question you know i'd encourage the viewers to check out the report was released last week i do have the website here it is human trafficking dot sc ag dot gov and there's a fifty three page report have here layla and it has shown what is work this last year was not work the efforts we found encouraging success and are put on a network of lawyers across the state were recruiting more more lawyers to represent survivors.

If you have of years in the lowcountry who are lawyers who love to figure out how to serve survivors of love to hear from them certainly in this case it does take a village absolute the efforts of many many people.

Well we thank you so much for your efforts and your firm's efforts to allow you to do this kind of work as well.

Elliott best of luck to you think you are appreciated.

Thank you when you return we're going to be joined by special organization that provides healing and normalcy to




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