North East Colorado Coalition Against Trafficking
In the final month of 2016, we spotlight the North East Colorado Coalition Against Trafficking (NECCAT). NECCAT was founded by a group of committed members of the Zonta Club-Greeley chapter in January of 2015. Zonta Vice President, Diana Laws, was a driving force in getting the group off the ground. As she explained it, Zonta’s mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. The Greeley Zonta membership recognized that there were already several organizations addressing a variety of women’s issues. But, Zonta believed it could address a gap by elevating the issue of human trafficking and its intersection with violence against women in their local community.
In less than two years of operation, 26 agencies—including area law enforcement and social service agencies—have joined the group. NECCAT sees its role as a convener of key stakeholders who have the experience and expertise to respond to cases of human trafficking. NECCAT also serves as a central repository for education and resources in the area. The group receives multiple requests for training on human trafficking and is able to enlist members to carry out education and outreach events based on their areas of specialization. Likewise, NECCAT has partnered with Zonta to raise funds to support human trafficking survivors. It has dedicated a portion of those funds to make survivor kits that include such things as basic toiletries and handmade socks. The kits benefit survivors immediately and support local law enforcement in their efforts to build rapport and a sense of safety among those they identify as potential trafficking victims. For more information about NECCAT, please contact Diana Laws.
In the News
Shared Hope International recently released its 2016 state report cards regarding their response to domestic minor sex trafficking, especially each state’s legal response. Colorado earned a “B” grade. You can read Colorado’s report card here.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Magazine published an alternative business perspective on the topic of human trafficking in supply chains. Among other things, their article outlines ways that companies can comply with various national laws and directives from the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union.
A man was convicted in Greeley on 32 counts related to a sex trafficking operation and was sentenced to 248 years in prison in a Weld County District Court. This conviction represents the longest sentence to be handed down for human trafficking in the state’s history. The defendant was convicted after a 13-day trial. He was arrested in 2014 following an extensive investigation by the Greeley Police Department, FBI’s Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force, and Colorado State Patrol.
Another man was also found guilty of human trafficking in Weld County District Court early in November. The investigation began with a traffic stop in 2014, which led to a joint law enforcement investigation.The defendant was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Victim Services Study Launched
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) are launching a national data collection effort to better understand crime victims needs and the services available to them. This data collection effort will be conducted in two phases, phase one will involve the launching of the first-ever National Census of Victim Service Providers (NCVSP). Phase two will build off of the census by conducting the National Survey of Victim Services Providers, a longer survey aimed at reaching a representative sample of victim service providers.
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month (January)
To help you prepare for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, OVC announced a series of resources to assist in raising public awareness on the issue. These resources include the Faces of Human Trafficking Resource Guide, as well as the Human Trafficking Task Force E-Guide. You can learn more by visiting OVC’s Human Trafficking website.
New Name for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center has changed its name to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. You can learn more about the change on their website.
Forecasted Grant Opportunity
The Administration for Children and Families and the Office for Trafficking in Persons have a forcasted funding opportunity, Look Beneath the Surface Regional Anti-Trafficking Program (LBS). The LBS Program will serve as a focal point in targeted geographic areas and focus on the identification and referral of foreign and domestic human trafficking victims. Learn more about this opportunity by visiting grants.gov and searching LBS. The estimated posting date for this opportunity is January 6, 2017.