Gov. Beshear announces new initiatives to fight human trafficking


Gov. Andy Beshear on May 6, 2021(Office of Governor Andy Beshear)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDKY) – Governor Andy Beshear announced new initiatives to fight human trafficking in Kentucky on Wednesday:

Researchers have been studying prevention and intervention methods for trafficking victims. As Attorney General, Gov. Beshear says his office collaborated with Project PIVOT on the research.

Now that he is governor, his administration is working to carry out the project’s recommendations, which include the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) creating an advisory council; launching a human trafficking and child labor screening tool to identify high-risk children; and hiring a full-time child protection specialist.

“I have always made seeking justice for victims and fighting human trafficking part of my core mission,” the Governor said. “The resources made possible through this grant will allow my administration to address research findings that will help us to better fight this scourge of human trafficking and save lives. I would like to thank Dr. Middleton and her team for their hard work in this crucial area.”

In 2020, Kentucky was one of only four states to receive a $1 million grant related to human trafficking from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

With grant funding, DCBS will engage with child-serving agencies in Kentucky to develop and implement an advisory council on human trafficking and child labor prevention and awareness.

The advisory council will work to identify a human trafficking and child labor screening tool, funded by this grant, which will be used to reveal victimization for both sex and labor trafficking of children and youth.

The Department for Community Based Services is also implementing evidence-based, trauma-informed training for child welfare staff, leadership, foster parents and providers across the state.

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