On Jan. 7, 2020, the Arizona Human Trafficking Council hosted its second annual symposium in partnership with the McCain Institute and the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. This event convened stakeholders from across Arizona to sustain efforts in multidisciplinary collaboration as the state collectively works to prevent sex and labor trafficking. Attendees represented law enforcement, health care, social services, non-profit, education and government sectors.

The event focused on best practices in serving victims, models of partnership-building and expanding service provider networks at the individual level. Attendees learned about the Maricopa Collaborative Model, STRENGTH Court, labor trafficking identification, response and culturally competent services. They also focused on building and strengthening relationships among different organizations and a highlight of utilizing the wrap-around services of advocacy centers when serving adult and child victims.

Prevention education is a top priority in combatting human trafficking, and during the regional task force and coalition update panel, stakeholders learned about continued efforts across Arizona. Task force members from Maricopa, Pima, Pinal and Yavapai counties shared their success in working with schools and parents to increase training and awareness on the issue of child sex trafficking.

An important observation from the 2019 inaugural symposium was the enthusiasm participants showed to learn about their peers’ work and to cultivate professional support systems. To facilitate these conversations, attendees participated in a networking game that awarded five winners with In-N-Out gift cards donated by the Slave 2 Nothing Foundation.