|August 18, 2014
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Attorney General Pam Bondi today convened the first Statewide Council on Human Trafficking meeting in Tallahassee. Attorney General Bondi worked with the Legislature to create the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. The 15-member Council, which is chaired by Attorney General Bondi, will build on existing state and local partnerships working to combat human trafficking.
The Council heard presentations from the following: Pat Gleason with the Attorney General’s Office on the Sunshine Law; Catherine Godwin with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center on national and state-specific statistics on human trafficking; Terry Coonan with Florida State University’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights on Florida cases and trends; and U.S. Attorney Pam Marsh with the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking on coordinated regional efforts.
“The Statewide Council on Human Trafficking provides a coordinated, all-hands-on-deck approach to combating human trafficking in Florida,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Today’s meeting is just the beginning of the extensive efforts this Council will make to shape how Florida tackles this horrific crime and assists human trafficking victims.”
“The Statewide Task Force brings together key state and community leaders who are involved in the fight to end human trafficking and empowers us to pursue progressive new tactics and treatments,” Department of Children and Families Interim Secretary Mike Carroll said. “We have the right mix of people to work together to not only treat and protect these victims but to work towards the goal of ending this form of modern-day slavery in our state.”
"The Statewide Council on Human Trafficking is a group that includes representatives of many of the organizations that have a hand in combating human trafficking and assisting human trafficking victims. I was proud to share the work by the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking, which is a regional effort to aid the victims of human trafficking, to raise awareness about human trafficking, to establish multi-agency collaborations to investigate and prosecute human traffickers, and to propose and advocate for policies intended to end human trafficking. It is only through wide-scale collaboration by groups, such as these, that we can end this horrific crime in Florida."
“The newly formed Florida Statewide Council on Human Trafficking represents a very important step for Florida in combating modern slavery in our state. I’m honored to be nominated by Attorney General Bondi to serve on this Council. I’m also pleased to be able to bring over a decade of anti-trafficking experience on the part of the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights to this initiative. I look forward to contributing what we have learned from our research and from the numerous trafficking victims that we represent to the important work of the Council,” stated Terry Coonan, Executive Director of Florida State University’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights.
For more information on the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, please follow this hyperlink: