Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking

Trafficking of children and youth is a growing concern across the nation. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is committed to combating the growing crisis of human trafficking of youth and children and works closely with other systems, including Department of Justice, Department of Corrections, Department of Public Instruction, Office of State Court and local courts, Department of Health Services and community service providers, to provide a comprehensive response.

What is Human Trafficking?

  • Human trafficking is the misuse of other people. This often happens for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. At the Department of Children and Families (DCF), we focus on the trafficking of children and adolescents. But, trafficking can occur at any age.
  • Sex trafficking is defined as a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion or in which the person induced to perform such act is under 18. 
  • Sex trafficking occurs throughout Wisconsin in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. 

Child Welfare System Response 

All reports of known or suspected sex trafficking must be screened into the child protection system as a form of sexual abuse, regardless of relationship to the alleged offenders. 

The focus of the child welfare system response to children and youth who experience human trafficking and sexual exploitation is securing safety and access to services. Service planning for trafficked or exploited youth can be complex and may include coordination with new community partners.

How to Recognize and Report Human Trafficking in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Indicator and Response Guide should be consulted if you have concerns that a child or youth you have contact with is being sexually trafficked or exploited.

Review the indicators in this guide and follow the directions for the appropriate response.