Governor Jan Brewer has established by Executive Order the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, addressing one of the key priorities highlighted in the governor's 2014 State of the State and policy agenda.
"Human trafficking is a despicable crime affecting some of our most vulnerable citizens and, as a border state facing international and inter-state ports of entry, Arizona is particularly exposed to its harmful effects," said Governor Brewer. "As long as the problem persists, we must undertake every possible action to protect our state and our citizens. In addition to working with state lawmakers to strengthen Arizona trafficking laws, we also must enhance federal, state and local coordination to address and eliminate this atrocity once and for all. This Council -- comprised of Arizona's leading experts in human trafficking and public safety -- will be a significant next step in our critical mission."
In April 2013, Governor Brewer created the Task Force on Human Trafficking. Co-chaired by Cindy McCain and Gil Orrantia, the Task Force was charged with identifying ways to reduce trafficking in Arizona, assist victims and safeguard those most vulnerable. Following months of testimony from more than 16 subject matter experts, members submitted to the governor findings and recommendations for strengthening state human trafficking laws, including increasing protections for victims, fortifying penalties for traffickers and solicitors, and facilitating a better overall statewide response to the crime.
The Arizona Human Trafficking Council will build upon the recommendations of the Governor's Task Force as well as continue to implement best practices; develop a comprehensive and coordinated victims' service plan; evaluate and report to the governor statewide data on human trafficking; promote greater collaboration with law enforcement, state agencies and the community-at-large; and raise public awareness about victims services, restitution and prevention.