Task Forces and Inter-Agency Cooperation
Drafters should incorporate provisions into the sex trafficking laws to establish national and local task forces.
Legislation should include provisions that require all relevant agencies to collaborate and communicate. Advocates who directly serve victims of sex trafficking should have leadership roles in such collaborative efforts. Efforts to protect victims of sex trafficking and hold perpetrators accountable are more successful when police, judicial officials, NGOs that provide direct service to victims of violence, and medical providers coordinate their efforts. For more information on establishing this type of coordinated community response, please see the Domestic Violence section of this module.
A coordinated community response should be dedicated to the aspects of an effective response: Protection, Provision of Services, Prosecution, Prevention and Partnerships. The UNODC Model Law Against Trafficking in Persons recommends that task forces should be charged with the following activities:
- Establishing national and local inter-agency anti-trafficking task forces to be comprised of government officials and non-governmental representatives, including service providers;
- Coordinating the implementation of the law, including:
- Developing protocols and guidelines,
- Developing a national (or local) plan of action, including a comprehensive set of measures for the prevention of trafficking, identification of, assistance to and protection of victims, including victims who are repatriated from another State to [name of State], the prosecution of traffickers and the training of relevant State and non-State agencies, as well as coordinate and monitor its implementation;
- Develop, coordinate and monitor the implementation of a national referral mechanism to ensure the proper identification of, referral of, assistance to and protection of victims of trafficking in persons, including child victims, and to ensure that they receive adequate assistance while protecting their human rights;
- Establish procedures to collect data and to promote research on the scale and nature of both domestic and transnational trafficking in persons and its forced labour and slavery-like outcomes, the factors that further and maintain trafficking in persons and best practices for the prevention of trafficking, for assistance to and protection of victims and the prosecution of traffickers;
- Facilitate inter-agency and multidisciplinary cooperation between the various government agencies and between governmental and non-governmental agencies, including labour inspectors and other labour market actors;
- Facilitate cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination, and among regions and states within the country;
- Act as a focal point for national institutions and other State and non-State actors, as well as international and local bodies and other actors, engaged in the prevention of trafficking in persons, the prosecution of traffickers and assistance to victims;
- Analyze existing national and local laws for the adequacy and effectiveness in addressing sex trafficking and recommend amendments to improve their effectiveness; and
- Ensure that anti-trafficking measures comply with existing human rights norms and do not undermine or adversely affect the human rights of the groups affected.
- The Task Force shall issue an annual report on the progress of its activities, the number of victims assisted, including data on their age, sex and nationality and the services and/or benefits they received under this Law, the number of trafficking cases investigated and prosecuted, and the number of traffickers convicted.
- All data collection shall respect the confidentiality of personal data of victims and the protection of their privacy.
(See: UNODC Model Law Against Trafficking in Persons, Art. 35, 2009; Polaris Project Model Comprehensive State Legislation to Combat Trafficking in Persons, 2.1, 2006; Model Provisions for State Anti-Trafficking Laws, Center for Women and Public Policy, Statewide Interagency Task Force, 10, 2005; State Model Law on Protection for Victims of Human Trafficking, Division F, Section 2, 2005)
- In Bulgaria, governmental and non-governmental representatives joined together to create a National Referral Mechanism to provide protection and assistance to trafficking victims. The NRM brought together the National Commission for Combating Human Trafficking, La Strada International, the Matra Progrogramme of the Dutch Government and the “Animus Association.” Through the NRM and other mechanisms, the “Animus Association” assisted 1,914 survivors of trafficking in 2008, and 2,629 in 2009. (See: Response to outreach letter by the “Animus Association,” February 2010)