Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal activity, estimated by the United Nations to be a $32 billion-a-year global enterprise. It’s easy to think this is just an international problem and not happening in our own backyard, but it happens here every day to Wisconsin residents. To help raise awareness of this horrible crime, Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Across the nation men, women and children are being lured with promises of jobs, food and shelter; instead, they are controlled and exploited for their bodies and labor. The state of Wisconsin and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) are committed to combatting the growing crisis of the human trafficking of youth and children. Over the last two years the state has seen made significant strides in improving educational outreach and survivor support services thanks to first-ever Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force. The state-level task force, co-headed by DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, recently finished its two year run and was comprised of six workgroups that developed several tools to be used in the fight against human trafficking. Some of these tools include: A statewide indicator and response guide to identify potential human trafficking cases A Human Trafficking 101 curriculum that will train various professionals who work with youth A regional hub in Outagamie County that coordinates support and technical assistance for 17 counties and 3 Tribes in the northeastern part of Wisconsin Web-based training for the hospitality industry In 2018 DCF will expand upon its efforts to increase public awareness and establish a new Anti-Human Trafficking Advisory Council that will continue efforts to involve cross-system partners in developing the response to sex trafficking of youth in our state. For more information about how you can help join the fight against human trafficking visit the U.S. Office on Trafficking in Persons or the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.