AG Moody launches support organization to the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking
Florida’s chief legal officer chose the opening day of the 2020 legislative session to champion the latest efforts to combat human trafficking.
Attorney General Ashley Moody joined a handful of lawmakers and advocates at a Capitol press conference to announce the launch of the “Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking.”
The Super Bowl will be a welcome boon to the South Florida economy in the coming weeks, “but we cannot ignore the dark practice that will take place along with it,” Moody said.
“We cannot stand for traffickers bringing women and children to surround an event like this, so that they can profit off of other people’s misery,” Moody said.
Lawmakers created the not-for-profit alliance last session to serve as a fund-raising arm of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, which since 2014 has led Florida’s anti-trafficking efforts.
HB 851 by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Ft. Myers, created the alliance as a “direct support organization” with a 13-member board. The DSO, like the council it serves, will be an arm of the Department of Legal Affairs.
Fitzenhagen, an attorney, stepped to the microphone in the Capitol Rotunda and declared the alliance “a giant, concrete step toward ending human trafficking.”
“We need your help, we need to have every donation,” she said. “If you have a favorite charity, make this your new one.”
In addition to creating the direct support organization, the legislation also mandated anti-human trafficking training for law enforcement, licensed medical professionals, and hotel workers.
Another provision created a statewide registry of people convicted of solicitation for prostitution.
Senate sponsor Lauren Book, D-Plantation, who attended the press conference, argued a registry would curb demand.
“I have to say this is an intersection of good policy and proper funding where we can truly make a difference, and that is why we are all here today,” Book said.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Moody issued a video recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. To view the video, click here.