Wichita State to host human trafficking training

May 21, 2014

Wichita State University's Midwest Criminal Justice Institute is hosting a human trafficking training conference in collaboration with regional law enforcement agencies from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5015 East 29th St N, Room 132.

The training class is free for registered attendees. Registration can be done through the institute's website, by fax at 316-978-3345, or emailing director Kristin Brewer at [email protected]

Trainers will focus on illustrating new rules and duties for law enforcement, protocols for handling juvenile victims and providing local examples of human trafficking and the tools needed for effective investigation.

This training is important for law enforcement because of the significant increase of human trafficking incidents in Kansas, and because of a new Human Trafficking Bill the House and Senate passed unanimously a last year to provide new tools for combating the crime. The bill also makes significant changes to state laws regarding human trafficking, which is defined as sexual or labor exploitation and subjugation in which victims are under someone else's power.

According to the United Nations, trafficking includes the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of human beings any means of coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation can include prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

One major change to the Kansas law requires that trafficking victims – many of whom are under the age of 18 – be treated as crime victims instead of offenders. The law mandates that child-victims be placed into protective custody, that a new "rapid response team" be organized at the Department for Children and Families and institutes a protocol recommended by the Human Trafficking Advisory Board for handling juvenile victims.

Partners with the Midwest Criminal Justice Institute for the training class include the United States Attorney's Office-District of Kansas, the District Attorney of Sedgwick County, Anti-Human Trafficking Unit and Victim Services Division of the Attorney General, Exploited and Missing Children Unit of the Wichita Police Department in coordination with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, Kansas Department of Labor, Sedgwick County Juvenile Corrections and the Department for Children and Families, Wichita Children's Home and The Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.