- The Huntsville-Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force began as a sub-committee to the Madison County Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Human Trafficking.
- January 11, 2010: Huntsville’s first human trafficking awareness event was held in observance of National Human Trafficking Day. Representatives from the City of Huntsville, City of Madison, Madison County and Redstone Arsenal were present to sign a Proclamation stating that January 11, 2011, was National Human Trafficking Day. Guest speaker Shannon Hoover, previously a United Nations Peacekeeping Officer, gave an overview of human trafficking and spoke of his experiences while protecting witnesses in human trafficking prosecutions in Cosovo and Afghanistan.
- May 18, 2010: The Human Trafficking committee was formed, sponsored by Crisis Services of North Alabama. This group has worked diligently to bring human trafficking awareness activities to the attention of local officials, law enforcement, service agencies, businesses, churches, universities and other groups.
- February 24, 2011: Huntsville observed its second annual observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day with an awareness event, again bringing together representatives from the City of Huntsville, City of Madison, Madison County and Redstone Arsenal to sign a Proclamation that February 24, 2011, was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Lynn Caffery, a survivor of human trafficking, spoke on how she was forced into a life of sex, drugs and abuse through traffickers as a small child.
- March 1, 2011: The first human trafficking training seminar was offered to service providers in the local area. A basic introduction of human trafficking, “Human Trafficking 101”, was presented. Guest speakers presented information on the Alabama state law; immigration considerations; civil rights implications; and a discussion of how local service agencies need to respond to victims of human trafficking.
- January 5, 2012: It was announced that the Human Trafficking committee would evolve into a separate Task Force. A new name for the group would be determined along with a Strategic Plan to guide all future Task Force activities.
- January 11, 2012: A training seminar entitled “Human Trafficking Awareness Training” was held at the National Children’s Advocacy Center, 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. 75 service providers, law enforcement and individual volunteers participated in this training event. Representatives from the FBI, The WellHouse, Inc., and Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office presented various topics related to human trafficking. The film “Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth”, a provocative documentary on human trafficking, was the highlight of the training seminar.
- January 6, 2012: Mayor Tommy Battle signed a Proclamation that January, 2012 was declared “Human Trafficking Awareness Month” in the City of Huntsville, AL. This was the first month-long observance of Human Trafficking Awareness Month in our city and community.
- February 7, 2012: The first meeting of the newly formed Human Trafficking Task Force was held.
- February 10-28, 2012: The Strategic Planning committee met to establish a viable Strategic Plan and an Action Plan that will guide the activities of the Task Force through 2012.
- March 6, 2012: The Human Trafficking Task Force met to discuss the new Strategic and Action Plans. We agreed our first Task Force activity will be to co-sponsor a workshop with AshaKiran, Crisis Services of North Alabama, Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Children’s Advocacy, UAHuntsville Office of Diversity and others on April 2, 2012. The name of the workshop was “Dangerous Silences: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Human Trafficking in South Asian Communities”. Shamita Das Dasgupta, Ph.D., DVS, led the workshop held at the National Children’s Advocacy Center on April 2, 2012, 8:00 a.m. (registration) to 11:30 a.m.
- April 3, 2012: New members of the Human Trafficking Task Force were welcomed. Committee Sign Up sheets were distributed for participation in the verious activities and events planned for the upcoming Task Force year. The April 2, 2012 workshop was deemed a success based on input from the many Task Force members who assisted and attended.
- May 1, 2012: The May meeting of the Human Trafficking Task Force was held on May 1, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. at Crisis Services. Please note this was a meeting location change for the May 1 meeting only.
- July 10, 2012: The July meeting of the Human Trafficking Task Force was held on July 10, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. at the Nonational Children’s Advocacy Center.
- August 7, 2012: The August meeting of the Task Force was held on August 7, at 2:00 p.m. at the National Children’s Advocacy Center.
- September 4, 2012: The September meeting of the Task Force was held on September 4 at 2:00 p.m. at the National Children’s Advocacy Center.
- October 2, 2012: The October meeting of the Task Force was held on October 2, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the National Children’s Advocacy Center. 4 new members joined the Task Force. Plans began to schedule our meetings with the local elected officials: legislators, city council and county commission. Meetings will be set up for November.
- January 8, 2013: Presented “Human Trafficking 101” to approximately 200 attendees (general public); Tajuan McCarty, Executive Director of The WellHouse, Inc. in Birmingham, AL, told her story of surviving human trafficking.
- June 4, 2013: The Huntsville-Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force hosted a joint meeting with the Central Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force. A total of 29 members were in attendance.
Sharing information; collaborating for future events and activities; and working together against human trafficking in Alabama were the main topics of the meeting. Both task forces will be watching HB598 as it gets re-introduced in the Legislature during the next session.
Please visit our EVENTS PAGE for more about what this task force has been doing!