Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking

WashACT is a multi-disciplinary taskforce convened in 200 by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington (USAO-WDWA). WashACT's mission is to ensure that 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 (SPD) 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)'s anti-Trafficking program called the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN). In addition to the USAO, SPD, and IRC Seattle, WashACT is comprised of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), 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 also leads a coalition of victim service organizations known as the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (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 and is comprised of WARN staff who support survivors involved in investigations and prosecutions; law enforcement agents working cases from SPD, HSI, 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 at the USAO-WDWA, who leads human trafficking prosecutions.

WashACT

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 investigations and prosecution of trafficking cases. WashACT also includes representatives from federal agencies such as the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), US Department of Labor/Wage & Hour Division; victim service organizations such as the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project (NWIRP), Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Lutheran Community Services, the Salvation Army, the YWCA, Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST), and the Organization for Prostitution Survivors (OPS); local government bodies such as King County, the City of Seattle, the Washington State Attorney General's Office, and the Washington Office for Crime Victim Advocacy; 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 Core Team informs these partners' efforts and community partners increase WashACT's capacity to address human trafficking through a broad range of activities. (A directory of all current WashACT task force members can be accessed through the link below.) 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.