Arizona Recognizes Human Trafficking Prevention Month

News Release

January 6, 2021

PHOENIX⁠ — Governor Doug Ducey today announced Arizona is once again recognizing Human Trafficking Prevention Month by lighting the State Capitol Dome blue every evening through January 31.

"Arizona remains a national leader in combating human trafficking, but we have much more work to do,” said Governor Ducey. “My sincere gratitude goes to Arizona Human Trafficking Council Co-Chair Cindy McCain, all members of the Council, and everyone working to bring an end to human trafficking through increased intervention, awareness training, prevention, and support for victims. We will continue to work with community leaders, partners and service providers to protect Arizonans and bring human trafficking to an end.”

Under the leadership of Co-chairs Cindy McCain and Arizona Department of Homeland Security Director Gil Orrantia, the Arizona Human Trafficking Council (the Council) leads targeted statewide human trafficking prevention and awareness efforts and works to expand victim-centered services and support. 

"I am pleased that Governor Ducey has once again proclaimed January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month in Arizona and appreciate the symbolic lighting of Arizona’s Capitol and agency buildings blue to highlight the issue of human trafficking in our state,” said Cindy McCain. “I am very proud of the work that the Arizona Human Trafficking Council continues to do to prevent human trafficking in Arizona, expand trauma-informed services available to victims and strengthen the ability to prosecute traffickers. The Council is adapting to meet the increased challenges and vulnerabilities of trafficked victims during the global pandemic, and working with our partners throughout the state to share best practices and available resources. We have made tremendous progress in our state and there is much more to do and we are dedicated to continuing the fight."

In 2020, the Council conducted a statewide Human Trafficking Needs Assessment to evaluate services for victims and identify barriers to providing services. It also worked with victim service providers on best practices to adapt services amid the COVID-19 pandemic in support of vulnerable populations. Additional highlights include: 

  • STRENGTH Court: The Strength Through Resilience – Empower New Growth Through Hope (STRENGTH) Court, which focuses on the needs of child victims of trafficking, has continued operations during the pandemic by utilizing video and telephonic conferencing. Since STRENGTH Court’s inception in 2018, there has been a significant decline in the number of minor victims who have fled placement and returned to the streets. 

  • Training: The Council helped further awareness and facilitate training to more than 3,900 stakeholders and community members, including educators, social workers, and juvenile and adult probation officers.

Learn more about the Arizona Human Trafficking Council HERE

To report trafficking or get help, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

View a PDF of the Human Trafficking Prevention Month Proclamation HERE and below. 

***

WHEREAS, human trafficking is a form of slavery that can affect anyone and particularly victimizes vulnerable populations and negatively impacts our communities; and

WHEREAS, human trafficking occurs when a person is recruited, harbored, transported, or obtained for the purpose of commercial sex, forced labor, involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or slavery through force, fraud, or coercion, or if the victim has not reached the age of eighteen; and

WHEREAS, human trafficking denies freedom to 24.9 million people in the United States and around the world; and

WHEREAS, women and girls are disproportionately affected by modern slavery, accounting for 28.7 million, or 71 percent of modern slavery victims; and

WHEREAS, the International Labor Organization estimates that human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide; and that $99 billion is generated from forced sexual exploitation; and

WHEREAS, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 234 cases in Arizona during 2019, of which 150 were for sex trafficking; and

WHEREAS, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children experienced a 98.66% increase in online enticement reports and a 63.31% increase in CyberTipline reports between January and September 2020 versus the same time period in 2019; and

WHEREAS, the 2020 Youth Experiences Survey found that almost half of the young adult participants experienced at least some form of human trafficking; and

WHEREAS, Arizona policymakers have worked diligently to combat human trafficking through the adoption of laws prohibiting and preventing human trafficking; and

WHEREAS, the Governor’s Arizona Human Trafficking Council has made significant strides in the areas of public awareness, victim services, data collection, and training in order to protect Arizona against this crime; and

WHEREAS, Arizona is committed to ensuring it is a zero-tolerance state for any form of human exploitation; and

WHEREAS, Arizona is committed to protecting victims’ rights and restoring their freedom and dignity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona, do hereby proclaim January 2021 as

HUMAN TRAFFICKING PREVENTION MONTH 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Arizona

GOVERNOR

DONE at the Capitol in Phoenix on this tenth day of December in the year Two Thousand and Twenty and of the Independence of the United States of America the Two Hundred and Forty-Fifth.

ATTEST:

SECRETARY OF STATE

###