FBI Human Trafficking Prevention Training
On Thursday, March 1, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Palm Beach County Human Trafficking Task Force gave a presentation to University of South Florida (USF) students, staff, and faculty as well as local community leaders. The event was co-organized by the student organization Triumph over Trafficking (TOT), the USF Department of Sociology, and the USF Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (OCEP). Associate Professor Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman moderated the event and was instrumental in bringing the FBI Task Force to campus. The USF College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Criminology, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Department of Women's and Gender Studies, and College of Public Health also co-sponsored the training which took place at the USF Health Rotunda at the College of Nursing.
Throughout the two-hour training, four FBI agents covered a wide range of topics related to human trafficking in Florida and around the nation. They began by explaining what human trafficking is and describing the differences between different types of trafficking. The training included case studies from real-life scenarios as well as rich data. Audience members had the opportunity to ask panelists questions that ranged from victim advocacy to further prevention tactics to steps we can take as a community to help end trafficking.
The event gave participants the tools and information to identify both traffickers and victims; this training was especially critical as human trafficking can easily go unnoticed. Despite unconnected interruptions, the training marked a successful inaugural event for Triumph over Trafficking as well as an important component of the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships' ongoing human trafficking awareness efforts. FBI agents commented that the event provided an invaluable public outreach opportunity for their taskforce, and participants left with practical knowledge and tools.
The training was possible thanks to contributions and support from Bright Community Trust, Costco, the McCain Institute, Suncoast Grocery, Target, and USA Grocers as well as the USF Health Center for Wellness, Engagement, Leadership and Learning (WELL). TOT student leaders Naomi Goni and Zubiya Syed also played a vital role in planning and implementing the event.