Belle Glade Sun

Palm Beach County approves anti-human trafficking initiative

PALM BEACH COUNTY — Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, along with her fellow County Commissioners, approved an initiative that aims to reduce human trafficking by training County employees on its signs and conducting awareness campaigns to educate the public.

Human trafficking is the second most common criminal activity worldwide, behind only the illicit drug trade, and Florida is home to the third-most human trafficking activity in the United States.

This initiative, which will include in-person trainings with staff, the production of educational videos for new County employees, and the creation of a website to house resources and educational materials, builds upon previous efforts that the County has undertaken to combat human trafficking.

On January 1, 2016, the County became the first in the state to require adult entertainment and massage/bodywork establishments to display human trafficking public awareness signs in a conspicuous location or else pay fines.

On February 2, 2017, to coincide with Super Bowl weekend—one of the busiest times of the year for human trafficking in the United States—Commissioner McKinlay, in partnership with the Association of Club Executives and Homeland Security Investigations, held a training session for operators of adult entertainment establishments to help them recognize, report, and rescue potential victims.

“Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable,” Commissioner McKinlay said, “and by maximizing our existing County resources and partnerships we are going to build upon our ongoing effort to eradicate it.”