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 Healthcare Providers 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 Legal Innovations Sub-Committee Chair or the Coordinator of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force 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
Finding 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 Subcommittees
Kat Wehunt, Chair
The Formation Project
The Survivor Advisory group was developed to better position survivors to have a voice in the development of protocols and initiatives geared toward supporting victims and survivors throughout South Carolina.
Kathryn Moorehead, Chair
South Carolina Office of the Attorney General
The goal of the Leadership Subcommittee is to united subcommittee and regional task force leaders to unite in an effort to prioritize initiatives, support legislation, and discuss other relevant topics that impact the larger anti-human trafficking movement in South Carolina.
Direct Service Providers—Adult Victim Focus
Lindsay Blair, Chair
The purpose of the Direct Service Providers—Adult Victim Focus Subcommittee is to develop direct service provider criteria recommendations for those working with adult victims and survivors in residential and community-based programs.
Direct Service Providers—Minor Victim Focus
Angela Hugie, Chair
Department of Juvenile Justice
The purpose of the Direct Service Providers—Minor Victim Focus Subcommittee is to assess and identify gaps in service, inform and influence best practices, serve as a clearinghouse of resources, and provide recommendations and updates to the Attorney General's Office.
Connie Sonnefeld, Chair
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED)
The Law Enforcement Subcommittee aims to develop a law enforcement network that will support local, state, and federal efforts to combat human trafficking.
Prevention Education & Outreach
The Prevention Education & Outreach subcommittee 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.
Dr. Stephanie Armstrong, Chair
Medical University of South Carolina
This subcommittee, 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.
Data Management & Research
Dr. 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 & Research subcommittee was formed to develop a system of accurately collecting and storing data as well as leading research projects unique to the field.
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.
The purpose of the Labor Trafficking Subcommittee is twofold: to increase attention and collaboration around the issue of labor trafficking and to develop and implement specific strategies to reduce its prevalence.
Megan Rigabar, Chair
SC Office of the Attorney General
The purpose of the Youth Advocacy Subcommittee is to engage
youth on the issue of human trafficking to equip them to educate their peers and potentially prevent others from becoming victims of human trafficking.
Roger Acton, Chair
South Carolina Victim Assistance Network
South Carolina is home to a robust, diverse community of faith-based organizations. Many in the faith community have been active in South Carolina’s ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking. As the involvement of faith groups in the anti-human trafficking movement continues to grow, the State Task Force launched the Interfaith Subcommittee to improve statewide collaboration among those in this community.