Governor Rick Scott today kicked off the second statewide human trafficking summit. Governor Scott addressed a crowd of more than 700 law enforcement officials, members of the legal community, service providers, health care professionals, educators and other first responders at the University of South Florida to start the summit, which focuses on labor and sex trafficking of both children and adults.
Governor Scott said, "Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that affects more than 27 million people worldwide, including an estimated two million children. I will continue working with the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and our partners to support the most vulnerable among us and fight against this horrific crime. As a father and grandfather, it is important that we protect our most vulnerable."
Attorney General Pam Bondi said, "Human trafficking is modern day slavery, and human traffickers subject children, women and men to sexual exploitation and forced labor. We must all work together to stop this horrific crime from occurring in our state, and this Human Trafficking Summit is a great way for law enforcement, the public, victim advocates, government agencies and others to join together in the fight against this egregious crime."
Department of Juvenile Justice Deputy Secretary Christy Daly said, "Collaboration is critical to increasing awareness and advancing understanding so we can protect our Florida residents from those who prey on our most vulnerable residents. I am honored to join with so many state agencies to provide training and information on best practices regarding prevention, identification and response to a wide array of professionals."
Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Ken Lawson said, "The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is committed to doing its part in the efforts to fight the growing epidemic of human trafficking. This is an issue that has a large societal impact, and we plan to do all that we can to help raise awareness both within our Department and to our licensees."
Department of Children and Families Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo said, "Now that society and the law acknowledges young people who have suffered the trauma of human trafficking as victims, DCF and our partners are committed to developing services and treatment that help them recover and thrive."
Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio said, "Labor trafficking is a horrifying practice and DEO is committed to helping prevent and detect this criminal, inhumane activity. Working with fellow agencies at the state and federal level, DEO trains our workforce staff to recognize the signs of trafficking and to aid the victims of trafficking."
Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey said, "Human trafficking is a growing problem and Florida law enforcement is working aggressively to identify and investigate this egregious crime."