Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking (RCAHT) Taskforce
"To combat the exploitation of any person through force, fraud, fear and-or coercion "
The United States Department of Justice estimates the crime of human trafficking generates $32 billion in profits annually worldwide. Trafficking is profitable because people are resalable and reusable, and unlike drugs and arms traffickers, human traffickers can continue to exploit their victims after the initial procurement. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), during the calendar year 2011, there were over 2,945 certified victims of human trafficking in the United States.
Since there are no direct ports of entry into the United States that exist in Riverside County, many believed that human trafficking crimes would not be prevalent in areas such as this; however, when the Sheriff and his staff began to take a closer look, it was evident that cases involving human trafficking were occurring in Riverside County. Since the identification of a human trafficking victim can be difficult, it was apparent that training and victim services had to play an intricate role in the formation of this taskforce. Many of the human trafficking victims identified in Riverside County belong to minority groups, some of whom are in the country illegally. A victim's immigration status makes identification and rescue of these victims problematic.
The U.S. Department of Justice's National Incidence Study reported that 1.7 million children run away or are thrown away each year, with just 357,600 reported as missing to the police. Conservatively, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimates that at least 100,000 children each year are caught up in the insidious world of child prostitution, with the average age of entrance being 12-14 years old. In Riverside County alone, as of October 2012, Riverside County Sheriff's deputies have responded to and investigated over 4,000 reported runaway incidents.
Utilizing a problem-solving strategy of identifying a problem, conducting an analysis of the issues, and forming an action plan, Riverside Sheriff-Coroner Stanley Sniff directed the formation of an anti-human trafficking taskforce. The RCAHT Taskforce was formed in September 2010 with the assistance of a grant through the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and initially consisted of two Riverside County deputy sheriffs and a part-time Riverside Sheriff's sergeant. The scope and focus was to combat human trafficking, which includes the exploitation of any person through force, fraud, fear and/or coercion. The exploitation is carried out through sexual exploitation, forced labor, forced servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. The RCHAT Taskforce has grown into a multi-agency taskforce, which now includes agents from the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, two deputy sheriffs, one part-time detective, a full-time supervisor (Sheriff's sergeant), and a program manager (Sheriff's lieutenant).
Create a partnership to:
- Protect – Ensures that dignity is established o Relief, Re-engagement, Restart
- Prevent – Ensures creation of community advocates o Educate, Empower, Engage
- Prosecute – Ensures that justice is served o Identify, Investigate, Incarcerate
- Build community awareness (Bridge the Gap)
- Develop strategic partnerships
- Execute innovative and thorough investigations to ensure that justice is served
- Treat all victims, whether foreign or domestic, with dignity and respect, and take a comprehensive approach to life-rebuilding
For more information, please contact RCAHT at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-758-FREE (3733)