Pillars of Hope: Attorneys General Unite Against Human Trafficking
Attorney General Schuette is a member of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Presidential Initiative Leadership Council. Led by NAAG President and State of Washington Attorney General, Rob McKenna, the Leadership Council's 2011-2012 key initiative is Pillars of Hope: Attorneys General Unite Against Human Trafficking
. In March of 2012, the NAAG unanimously adopted the Pillars of Hope principles and created a work program which includes key deliverables for each of the Four Pillars of Hope. The work program was implemented in 2012 and will continue to be utilized in years to come.
The mission of the initiative is to collectively make a difference by bring hope to the victims of human trafficking and holding traffickers and buyers accountable for their actions nationwide.
Schuette is working closely with his colleagues across the country to ensure law enforcement can fully understand the scope of human trafficking, prosecute traffickers, asssist human trafficking victims, and raise public awareness in Michigan and nationwide.
Pillars of Hope: Attorneys General Unite against Human Trafficking is built upon the following four pillars:
Pillar #1: Making the Case
Although data exist on human trafficking cases tried by federal authorities, state‐specific data on human trafficking are severely lacking. No uniform database exists to capture an increasing number of cases being tried under state human trafficking statutes, or cases where traffickers are charged with related charges such as pimping, kidnapping, physical assault, sexual assault etc. Dissemination of two key training modules and National Human
Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) information will help local
authorities identify cases and report them through a uniform means.
Pillar # 2: Holding Traffickers Accountable
Not all states have adopted a comprehensive menu of anti‐human trafficking laws that provide all the tools necessary to local law enforcement to prosecute traffickers. Furthermore, only 20 states, including Michigan, are actually using the laws that exist. In 2011, Schuette launched Michigan's first Human Trafficking Unit in the Department of Attorney General to launch efforts to prosecute cases under state law.
Pillar #3: Mobilizing Communities to Care for Victims
Coordination among service providers and law
enforcementhas increased the number of victims
identified. Good models existthat can be disseminated and implemented in states throughout the country, while respecting existing local efforts through DOJ‐funded task forces. However, resources are severely lacking. While state attorneys general typically do not provide direct
service delivery, information regarding available services
could be provided, so that individual attorneys general
may take advantage of these resources as a part of
their state‐level strategies.
Pillar #4: Public Awareness and Issue Advocacy
Although numerous public awareness campaigns exist, few use proven metrics that demonstrate a campaign's effectiveness.