PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced Mrs. Cindy McCain’s resignation as co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, following her confirmation as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.
“Cindy has been a steadfast champion in the fight to end trafficking here in Arizona and across the world,” said Governor Ducey. “Her passionate advocacy, ability to rally leaders across sectors, and her support for survivors has had an immeasurable impact on anti-trafficking efforts. I’m grateful for her leadership and friendship, and I know she will continue making a difference in her new role.”
Mrs. McCain has been a tireless advocate and leader in human trafficking prevention efforts in our state and around the world. Her leadership led to the creation of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, which serves as a statewide multidisciplinary team focused on developing a comprehensive and coordinated victims’ service plan; evaluating and reporting to the governor on statewide human trafficking data; promoting greater collaboration with law enforcement, state agencies, and the community-at-large; and raising public awareness about victims’ services, restitution and prevention.
"It has been my distinct honor to serve as co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council since its inception in 2013,” said Cindy McCain. “I have been inspired by serving alongside a talented cadre of dedicated public servants, researchers, service providers, law enforcement representatives and survivors, and delighted to see the tremendous progress we have made working together to fight human trafficking in our state. I applaud Governor Ducey's leadership and dedication in supporting the Council’s efforts to eradicate trafficking. Arizona is my home and I will watch with interest the continued success of this council. Thank you for the privilege of serving."
During her tenure as co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, Mrs. McCain played an integral role in leading efforts to combat human trafficking and increase multi-agency collaboration to prevent and respond to trafficking in our state. She was also an adamant advocate for victims and the need to increase and improve services and support for those recovering from this heinous crime. Under Mrs. McCain’s leadership the Council has:
Provided training on how to identify, report and respond to victims of trafficking to more than 44,000 professionals and community members statewide, including: legislators, law enforcement, medical professionals, tribal communities, school staff, faith-based organizations, and businesses.
Launched a statewide human trafficking outreach and awareness campaign, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Hosted the annual Arizona Human Trafficking Symposium, which brings together statewide and local human trafficking task forces and coalitions, county attorneys, law enforcement, service providers and other stakeholders to work collaboratively to improve Arizona’s response to trafficking.
Supported more than 30 research studies that shed light on the human trafficking landscape in Arizona and provide insight on how systems of care can better support survivors of human trafficking.
Supported the successful passage of legislation that strengthens protection for victims and increases penalties for perpetrators , including:
H.B. 2553: allows a person convicted of prostitution to apply to the court to vacate their conviction if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that their participation in the offense was a direct result of being a victim of sex trafficking.
H.B. 2454: strengthens state law to increase penalties for human trafficking while improving and enhancing protective measures for the victimized and vulnerable.
H.B. 2374: expands the offense of child prostitution to include knowingly providing a means for a minor to engage in prostitution.
House Bill 2238: replaces the term “child prostitution” with “child sex trafficking”. The legislation also adds “child sex trafficking” to the list of offenses eligible for lifetime probation, increasing the severity of the punishment.
S.B. 1660: The new law includes the requirement of the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) to ensure a child who is eight years of age or older receives materials and resources about sexual abuse, child sex trafficking, and exploitation within 30 days of placement in out-of-home care. It further outlines requirements and guidelines for the materials and resources about sexual abuse, child sex trafficking, and exploitation.
Read Mrs. McCain’s resignation letter HERE.