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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES GRANTS TO ENHANCE EFFORTS TO FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Task Force Members, Others Meet to Discuss Investigations and Services for Victims

ATLANTA – Associate Attorney General Kevin J. O’Connor today announced almost $10 million in additional funding to supplement existing task forces and to expand the number of task forces working with community-based organizations to combat human trafficking. The Associate Attorney General made the announcement at the 2008 National Conference on Human Trafficking, where more than 350 representatives from federal, state, and local organizations gathered to discuss methods of investigating human trafficking and servitude and how best to provide services to trafficking victims.

“Human Trafficking is a serious crime and deserves the focused attention of law enforcement and victim service providers,” said Associate Attorney General O’Connor. “The task forces receiving funding today are made up of both of these important elements. We will continue to use all of the resources at our disposal to make sure that traffickers are convicted and that victims receive the assistance they need to recover.”

Since 2002, the Department has partnered with state and local law enforcement, and victim service organizations to convict 342 traffickers and assist 1,300 victims from 80 countries. In 2007 alone, the Department opened 154 new trafficking investigations.

Of the funds announced today, more than $4.1 million will go to task forces in: Washington, D.C.; Hawaii; Boston, Mass.; Suffolk County, N.Y.; New Jersey; Nassau County, N.Y.; San Jose, Calif.; Saint Paul, Minn.; Lee County, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Multnomah County, Ore. Three new task forces will be established in Westminster, Calif.; Homestead, Fla; and Pitt County, N.C. To date, the Department has provided more than $70 million in funding to these task forces.

In addition, the following victim service organizations have received funding to work with the task forces:

Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance
$230,000

International Rescue Committee, Miami, Fla.
$460,000

North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
$460,000

Salvation Army, Orange County, Calif.
$460,000

Bilateral Safety Corridor
San Diego, Calif.
$230,000

YMCA of Greater Houston Area
Houston, Texas
$230,000

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs
Chicago, Ill. area
$230,000

Safe Horizon, Inc.
New York City and Nassau County, N.Y. areas
$230,000

Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Island Division
$230,000

Justice Resource Institute, Inc.
Massachusetts
$200,000

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
Los Angeles, Calif.
$230,000

Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach
$230,000

International Rescue Committee
Phoenix, Ariz.
$230,000

International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis
St. Louis, Mo.
$230,000

Tapestri, Inc.
Atlanta, Ga.
$230,000

Catholic Charities of Venice, Inc.
Lee County, Fla.
$230,000

Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pa.
$230,000

Catholic Charities Oregon
$299,999

Salvation Army Alaska
$230,000

Refugees Services of Texas
$230,000

Northeastern University
$299,999

The Department also announced more than $400,000 to fund two studies conducted by Abt Associates, Inc. and San Diego State University Research Foundation. The studies will assess criminal justice strategies and collaborative programs across the country and internationally that focus on reducing the demand for commercial sex.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. More information about OJP’s work on human trafficking can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

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