Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking is defined as: 

  • Using force, fraud, or coercion to compel someone to perform labor (such as factory work, in restaurants, hotels, construction, and as domestic servants) or engage in a commercial sex act
  • the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. A grave human rights abuse, it promotes breakdown of families and communities, fuels organized crime, deprives countries of human capital, undermines public health, creates opportunities for extortion and subversion among government.

SPD Human Trafficking Detail

Beyond the Detectives assigned to the Vice High Risk Victims Unit, SPD has a full time human trafficking investigator and a part time civilian employee. This detail is funded by a U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance grant. The primary emphasis of this detail is: Responding to and investigating complaints of human trafficking, whether sex or forced labor. Cases are received through a variety of sources including the National Human Trafficking hotline or the network of law enforcement, victim advocate and/or service provider agencies.

The commander of this detail is a co-chair of the Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking (WashACT), along with co-chairs from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), Western District of Washington. Members of the Human Trafficking Detail are the Seattle Police Department’s representatives on WashACT. Services for victims of human trafficking are coordinated with Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN).

Resources

More information and additional resources related to combatting human trafficking can be found on the following local and national websites:

Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign

Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network

US Attorney’s Office Western District of Washington

Polaris Project – National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Washington State Office of Crime Victim Advocacy

King County Human Trafficking Page

A description of human trafficking indicators and information is also contained in the included video and poster:

Office of Justice programs – Human Trafficking – Posters and Video

 

Human Trafficking Contacts

For emergency situations, call 911

Seattle Police Department Vice High Risk Victims Unit  (206) 684-8660 or (206) 386-1114

Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (Warn) Victim Line (206) 245-0782

Seattle Victim Outreach, services for WARN or WashAct (206) 623-2105

National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s 24-hour Hotline 1-888-737-7888

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 200 languages

Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking

WashAct is a multi-disciplinary taskforce convened in 2005 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington (USAO-WDWA). WashACT’s mission is to ensure the victims of trafficking receive all resources available to them and that human traffickers are identified, investigated and prosecuted to the utmost extent of the law. Since its founding, WashAct has led the fight against human trafficking in Washington State through its collaborative, victim-centered task force.

WashACT is co-chaired by Lt. Jim Fitzgerald, the Commander of the Seattle Police Department’s Vice High Risk Victims Unit, Kate Crisham, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the USAO_WDWA, and Kathleen Morris, Senior Program Manager for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) Anti-Trafficking program called the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN). In Addition to the USA, SPD, and IRC Seattle, WashACT is comprised of Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and a myriad of local, state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations working to combat human trafficking. As noted above, IRC Seattle lead a coalition of victim service organizations known as WARN; all WARN partners are members of WashACT. The WashAct Core Team is a sub-group of task force partners working directly on human trafficking cases as comprised of WARN staff who support survivors involved in investigations and prosecutions; law enforcement agents working cases from SPD, HIS, the FBI, and other agencies; victim specialists from these agencies; and the Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) designated as the Human Trafficking Point of Contact as the USAO-WDWA, who leads human trafficking prosecutions.

 Flow chart

The leadership team and other members of WashACT’s core team of law enforcement and victim service providers meet regularly to share information on trafficking and resources to victims of trafficking; to identify and remedy gaps in services to victims; and to coordinate investigators and prosecution of trafficking cases. WashACT also includes representatives from federal agencies, victim service organizations, local government bodies, a wide variety of local organizations focused on advocacy, education and community mobilization; and other partners working peripherally to support anti-trafficking efforts. The WashACT’s core team informs these partners’ efforts and community partners increase WashACT’s capacity to address human trafficking through a broad range of activities. In the years since its inception, WashAct has worked diligently to address the problem of human trafficking in Washington State, enabling a significant number of human trafficking cases to be investigated and prosecuted and making it possible for many victims to rebuild their lives.

Today, WashACT and WARN have come to represent anti-trafficking response in Washington State and are widely relied upon to provide trauma-informed victim-centered response, training, and leadership, as well as comprehensive services to victims and survivors. WashACT meetings are conducted quarterly and are by invitation only. The pre-requisites for attending a WashACT quarterly meeting are completion of a memorandum of Understanding and participation in a WashACT Information Session, which are also conducted quarterly as a mechanism to inform the community on anti-trafficking efforts in Western Washington.  The WashACT Information Session is a presentation conducted by SPD, the IRC, and the USAO-WDWA that addresses how service providers, law enforcement, practitioners and mobilization groups collaborate to improve the response to human trafficking. WashACT information sessions are free and open to the public.

WashACT Contacts

WashACT Task Force Members

Task force members have completed Memoradums of Understanding (MOU), participated in the WashACT Information Sessions, and regularly contribute to the functioning of WashACT.

WashAct Information Sessions

WashACT information sessions are free and open to the public. If you are interested in attending a session, please RSVP to warntrafficking@yahoo.com

General Contact Information

Additional information regarding WashACTand WARN can be obtained by contacting the warntrafficking@yahoo.com