Because of the nature of the crime, there is no sound methodology to measure the problem; however, experts estimate that 27 million people are trafficked internationally and domestically bringing in $32 billion dollars annually. It is the second largest and fastest growing black market.
What Are We Doing?
On November 2, 2012, Attorney General Coakley joined Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and a coalition of other Attorneys General in urging Congress to pass an act that would help adequately fund programs to combat human trafficking. A letter file size 1MB sent by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), encourages Congress to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) by the end of the year.
In 2011, along with a coalition of legislators, law enforcement, and advocates, including lead sponsors Senator Mark Montigny and House Judiciary Chairman Eugene O'Flaherty, Attorney General Coakley filed "An Act Relative to the Commercial Exploitation of People" to address human trafficking in Massachusetts. Attorney General Coakley testified in support of "An Act Relative to the Commercial Exploitation of People" before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on May 18, 2011.
On November 21, 2011, Governor Patrick signed this legislation into law, H. 3808, “An Act Relative to the Commercial Exploitation of People,” The law went into effect February 19th, 2012.
Human Trafficking Task Force As part of this anti human trafficking law, the Legislature created an interagency task force to address all aspects of human trafficking through policy changes. The task force is charged with addressing Human Trafficking through service development, demand reduction, system change, public awareness, and training. The task force is chaired by Attorney General Martha Coakley and includes state and community agencies.
On Tuesday, October 19, 2010, thirteen witnesses representing law enforcement, victim/survivors, academia, and the tech/internet industry testifed before Attorney General Martha Coakley and a panel from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.
What Can You Do?
If you need help, or think you may be aware of someone who needs assistance please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at: (888) 373-7888. The Polaris Project operates this toll-free number and they will route the call to the appropriate resources in Massachusetts.
Resources and Information:
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
Brazilian Women's Group
617-787-0557 ext. 15
Lutheran Social Services of New England
508-754-1121 ext. 417
MassCOSH (Mass. Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health)
617-825-7233 ext. 16
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
617-350-5480 ext. 212
My Life My Choice Project
Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN)