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Training and Education
This committee is charged with reviewing existing training efforts for professionals and determining how those efforts can be enhanced and expanded. These professionals include various groups who may encounter human trafficking such as: law enforcement, health care providers, social-service providers, hospitality providers, and those in code enforcement and regulatory agencies.
2022 Committee Reports
After developing and adopting guidelines for evaluation of third-party trainings in 2020, the Training and Education Committee focused on implementing the evaluation process by reviewing a number of training materials on human trafficking for various professional audiences. The committee had identified a number of online publicly available training sources.
Throughout 2022, the committee evaluated a number of additional trainings. The committee noted throughout the year that there we several trainings they reviewed but did not recommend to the Commission as the committee determined the resource did not meet the Commission’s evaluation criteria. Nevertheless, the committee did recommend posting of several valuable trainings. The full Commission approved and recommended the following trainings for posting on the Commission webpage:
- “Your Role in Preventing HT: Recognizing the Signs Training” by End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA). This free 30-minute online training program for hotel associates was developed by ECPAT-USA in collaboration with the American Hotel and Lodging Association and Marriott.
- “Writing it Right: Documenting Human Trafficking” by AEquitas, a nonprofit organization focused on developing, evaluating, and refining prosecution practices related to human trafficking. This free 90-minute webinar focuses on the core competencies needed by law enforcement and prosecutors to establish the elements of human trafficking.
- “Highway Stop - Human Trafficking Training Video” AND “Car Crash (Police & EMTs) - Human Trafficking Training Video” Both trainings by Blue Campaign through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) are free short videos for law enforcement and first responders respectively.
The committee will continue to identify, evaluate, and recommend for posting on the Commission’s training website additional valuable human trafficking training for professionals.
In addition to postings on the training website, the Commission also sponsored an in-person advanced sex trafficking training: “Sex Trafficking Investigations for Law Enforcement: Sleuthing Force, Fraud or Coercion–Dispelling the Consensual Myth.” Hosted by the Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety, this half-day law enforcement training was a culmination of ongoing conversations across the Policy and Legislation, Victim Services, and Funding and Resources committees.
The training announcement included the following description:
Approaches and attitudes toward commercial sex and prostitution are evolving across the state, increasing the vulnerability of providers in the commercial sex industry. Law enforcement must increase the focus on uncovering instances of sex trafficking. Now more than ever, investigators must focus on detecting whether the exchange of commercial sex is the result of force, fraud, or coercion. Assuming the exchange is consensual, or simply asking the conclusory question “is this consensual” will inevitably fail to uncover the likely truth, that someone else is calling the shots. In an effort to equip law enforcement on all levels with strategies and techniques to delve deeper, this training will focus on investigating the impact of force, fraud, coercion and other influences on the provision of prostitution and commercial sex acts.
The training included an overview of sex trafficking, an in-depth focus on the issues of force, fraud and coercion, and law enforcement examples of how this may present. Most importantly, the training included a survivor panel providing real life examples of tips and strategies to effectively pursue the investigation of force, fraud, and coercion. The agenda included the following sessions:
- Prostitution and Commercial Sex: From Consensual to Pimped to Trafficked
- Sex Trafficking: The Element of Force/Fraud/Coercion - Interview strategies to uncover the WHY
- Survivor Panel – The real-life interactions
- Resources Rather Than Arrest– Identifying local trafficking support organizations
The Commission has been contacted by the Oakland Police Academy who is interested in sponsoring another session of the training. Planning is underway to provide that training again in spring of 2023.
Also stemming from collaboration with the Policy and Legislation Committee, the Training and Education Committee continues planning a training for the defense bar for those who may be (unknowingly) representing victims of sex trafficking. This training highlighting statutory protections available for sex trafficking victims.