Multi-sector approach to combat human trafficking advocated by Dr. Latonero

policy_symposium_2013_117.jpgOn Friday, April 5, 2013, CCLP Research Director Mark Latonero discussed the future of human trafficking detection and prevention – a “multi-sector approach” that employs new technologies to combat the modernized trafficking tactics that have permeated mobile networks, online classified and networking sites, and even video games.

Dr. Latonero participated on a panel of human trafficking experts at the 7th annual L.A. Policy Symposium at the RAND Corporation, which welcomed students, researchers, and practitioners for a discussion on trafficking. The conversation focused on support for victims and survivors, public education, and innovative approaches to combat trafficking. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Priscillia Hunt, an associate economist at the RAND Corporation.

LAPD Lt. Andre Dawson and Det. Dana Harris, who have successfully prosecuted dozens of human trafficking cases, advocated that focus be redirected toward the trafficked survivors, many of whom are children. Lt. Dawson hopes to “pull back the curtain” on the children because, in his experience, the general public is typically not aware that human trafficking persists.

Angela Chung, Staff Attorney at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) L.A., shared a similar sentiment. She noted that most people do not recognize that modern-day slavery exists in the United States, yet trafficking survivors “live next door [and] go to the same schools.”

Significant other challenges remain, noted Vanessa Lanza, Director of Partnerships at CAST, who emphasized that “many people don’t realize how long” trafficking victims need extended support. She hopes for increased interagency information sharing and collaboration.

The conversation concluded with a discussion of approaches for combating trafficking in the 21st century. Dr. Latonero advocated a “multi-sector approach” that will leverage new technologies to detect instances of trafficking online.