Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Wednesday the establishment of a task force to combat forced labor and sex trafficking in the state.
Its creation was part of the Human Trafficking Act, which was passed this year by the Arkansas Legislature.
“This is not just a problem in central America and big cities. It is an Arkansas problem," McDaniel said. "It occurs on our interstates. It occurs in our towns. It occurs in our neighborhoods. And those of us here today have worked for years to raise awareness about this vast problem and we have worked to mobilize the resources to prevent the problem in Arkansas.”
40 people, primarily with law enforcement and non-profits that work to help victims, will serve on the panel.
McDaniel says they’ll lay out a plan to combat the problem, find the best ways to share information and train police and judicial officials on how to identify people and groups involved.
“Most of those on this task force are on the front lines in the fight against human trafficking. They represent a diverse cross-section of our state and they are all united with one goal: to improve Arkansas’ response to human trafficking now and in the future and to work cooperatively to end this crime,” McDaniel said.
The task force will hold its first meeting on November 19th at the state Capitol.