The South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force feels strongly about the importance of supporting preventive initiatives throughout the State, the Southeast Region, and the Nation. Collectively, members contribute hours of service through presentations, trainings, and other projects. We encourage you to become a community advocate and contribute toward the prevention of human trafficking. Please contact our Prevention Education & Outreach Sub-Committee Chair or the Coordinator of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force for more information.More info
Law Enforcement, as well as other direct service providers, make ongoing efforts to protect both potential victims and those who are human trafficking survivors. The Task Force supports these efforts through the provision of on-going training opportunities, the identification of promising technology and best practices as well as accessing other resources that may aid in protecting individuals from this heinous crime. Please contact our Direct Services Provision Sub-Committee Chair, Health Care Provision Sub-Committee Chair or the Coordinator of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force for more information.More info
National and State laws are continually being updated to protect victims, prosecute traffickers, and address this ever-growing and complex crime. The Task force supports the efforts of prosecutors through specialized trainings, voicing our collective support of legislation, and working on legal innovations. For more information, please reach out to our Legislation Sub-Committee Chair or Legal Innovations Sub-Committee Chair for more information.More info
South Carolina Plan To Address Human Trafficking
Determining the Magnitude of Human Trafficking in South Carolina
Finding: There is not abundant or comprehensive data about human trafficking as it is happening in South Carolina.
Protecting, Supporting, and Serving Victims of Human Trafficking
Finding One: First Responders, Medical Professionals, Labor Agencies, and Victim Advocacy Groups must be able to recognize the signs of human trafficking.
Finding Two: There is a lack of sufficient funding for, access to, and availability of resources for groups that provide services to victims of human trafficking.
Finding Three: South Carolina does not have adequate shelter space to meet the needs of human trafficking victims.
Finding Four: There is a lack of understanding and awareness for the various Immigration benefits for non-citizen victims of human trafficking that are essential to victim safety and prosecution.
Finding Five: Civil relief options for a trafficked victim are not well known or communicated.
Finding Six: Delivery of and assess to victim services need to be better coordinated.
Investigating and Prosecuting Human Traffickers
Finding One: The lack of resources available to law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges frustrates opportunities to arrest, prosecute, and sentence human traffickers.
Finding Two: The lack of information-sharing among law enforcement officers and prosecuting offices hinders opportunities to arrest, prosecute, and sentence human traffickers.
Finding Three: The lack of trained law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges prevents opportunities to arrest, prosecute, and sentence human traffickers.
Preventing Human Trafficking in South Carolina
Findings One: There is inadequate enforcement of existing rules and regulations in South Carolina.
Finding Two: Lack of awareness about human trafficking and ingrained societal perceptions aggravate the problem, resulting in lost opportunities to help victims and hold perpetrators accountable.
Other Areas for Consideration and Study
Foreign National Victims: Consider how current immigration laws can affect victims of severe human trafficking.
Rapid Response Teams: Consider creating teams throughout the state via new partnerships, the development of regional multiagency groups, and concise points of contact to be used by response teams.
Child Victims: Analyze how South Carolina juvenile law effects juvenile victims of human trafficking, particularly, those victims who might be arrested for a crime.
Internet and Technology: Develop strategies to more efficiently investigate tips received from online sites, draft protocol for handling tips including possible areas of overlap between human trafficking and internet crimes against children. Also examine different methods, specifically those related to technology and the Internet, used in the perpetration of human trafficking crimes in order to formulate better responses, develop prevention strategies, and build stronger cases for prosecution.Read More
Task Force Sub-Committees
Direct Service Provision
Kathleen Heavner-James, Chair
South Carolina Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
The primary focus of the Direct Service Provision workgroup is to explore best practices in the field, assess access to services throughout the state, and develop targeted training to support work with victims and survivors.
Prevention Education & Outreach
Charlene Jones, Chair
The Prevention Education & Outreach workgroup is focused on developing consistent messaging as well as uniquely designed training for community advocates, educators, and others eager to make an impact in their communities. It is the group’s hope to also assist in developing a “train the trainer” model to ensure proper use of statewide task force approved presentation materials. Lastly, the group plans to review curricula to develop a reference tool for educators and other who work with young people in our communities.
Health Care Provision
Jennifer Combs and Neely Wright, Co-Chairs
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
This workgroup, composed of health care providers from hospitals, clinics, and academia, is focused on creating and implementing healthcare protocols, developing field specific training, and addressing other relevant matters that impact victims and survivors.
Liyun Zhang, Chair
Children’s Law Center
USC School of Law
Throughout the nation, there is a lack of comprehensive data that provides accurate insight into the scope of the problem. This includes information pertaining to rescues and convictions, services to victims/survivors, and other useful information. In an effort to better define the issue in South Carolina, the Data Management workgroup was formed to develop a system of accurately collecting and storing data as well as leading research projects unique to the field.
The Task Force recognizes that its members are eager to initiate change at the legislative level. This workgroup was established to better coordinate efforts and provide a united voice regarding human trafficking related initiatives. The regional task forces will appoint a representative to the workgroup to share the ideas and challenges of those working on efforts in their region.
Elliott B. Daniels, Chair
Murphy & Grantland, P.A.
As South Carolina continues its efforts to combat the crime of human trafficking, the task force recognizes the need to support victims through innovative approaches in the legal field. This is inclusive of increased access to pro bono services, courtroom innovations, and other such initiatives.
There are four additional workgroups currently in development:
Labor Trafficking (Service Providers)
Human Trafficking Survivor Advisory