Attorney General Ashley Moody, flanked by a bipartisan team of lawmakers, unveiled the name of Florida’s funding organization on human trafficking Tuesday.
The Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking is the new name for the direct-support organization of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. Last Session, the Legislature established the organization, as a nonprofit fundraising arm of the council.
“In 2014, when the statewide task force was set up, few people were talking about human trafficking,” Moody said. “In just a few short years, we saw our statewide prosecution start going up because we were putting it in front of lawmakers. We were putting it in front of statewide leaders.”
The Attorney General, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida House and Senate appoint the organization’s board of directors. In July, Senate President Bill Galvano announced Sen. Lauren Book and former Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff’s appointments to the council.
“There is an intersection of good policy and proper funding that really can truly make a difference, and that is why we’re all here today,” Book said.
Other legislation passed last year includes trafficking identification training for hotel workers.
Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen also sits on the board. She called today a concrete step toward ending human trafficking.
“In order to stop the scourge, we have to have funding to do so,” Fitzenhagen said. “If you have a favorite charity, make this your new one, because we need your funds to implement some of the great programs that are out there, and we are making a difference.”
In a few weeks, the state will begin hosting a flurry of events that will draw nationwide attention. Florida will host two Super Bowls, WestleMania and the NCAA college football national championship in the course of about a year.
“In one year, the need for well-thought-out data-based strategic efforts have never been more important because we have so many big events that we know will attract human traffickers and that behavior,” Moody told reporters.
The Attorney General also gifted Bogdanoff, chair of the direct-support organization’s board of directors, a copy of the Florida Cabinet’s resolution recognizing January 2020 as Florida Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
The first bill (HB 633) would require businesses with delivery drivers and workers who serve private residences to train their employees to spot victims of human trafficking. Another bill (HB 657) would require transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to train their drivers in trafficking awareness.