ELLICOTT CITY, MD – To coincide with World Trafficking in Persons Day, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today released the Office of Human Trafficking Prevention’s (OHTP) 2021-2022 Annual Report and 2022-2023 Plan. Sponsored by the United Nations, World Trafficking in Persons Day is every year on July 30; this year’s theme highlights the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking. To spread awareness in the fight against human trafficking and show support for victims, County Executive Calvin Ball directed Howard County Government to light the George Howard Building in blue on Saturday evening.
Our Office of Human Trafficking Prevention is doing essential work to combat sex and labor trafficking in Howard County. The partnership of the Howard County Police Department and community organizations, coupled with recent worker outreach efforts, ensure that we have purposeful, victim-centered initiatives that we need to help eradicate human trafficking in Howard County and beyond.
The annual report highlights the key efforts led by the Office of Human Trafficking Prevention in 2021 and 2022. This includes securing new competitive federal funding that expanded the capacity of Howard County Police to proactively investigate trafficking cases and bringing TurnAround on board as the new direct service provider for trafficking victims. OHTP also facilitated training for hundreds of our first responders, piloted targeted passive and direct outreach initiatives, and initiated the first trafficking vulnerabilities assessment of the County. Over the next year, OHTP will continue its rights-based outreach efforts and conduct a comprehensive vulnerabilities assessment for trafficking to guide future partnership and resource strategies.
As part of the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services (DCRS), the Office of Human Trafficking Prevention and the Office of the Local Children’s Board frequently address technology issues in community presentations, providing guidance on online safety for youth and adults. New partnerships with service providers like TurnAround can provide additional expertise as necessary, if a situation with a family member or friend raises concerns.
“OHTP’s fundamental work of community education, and outreach, in cooperation with the Human Trafficking Prevention Coordination Council has laid a solid foundation for increased victim identification,” said Jackie Scott, Director of the Department of Community Resources and Services, “The addition of high-quality trauma-informed services from TurnAround further strengthens our network of community partners, supports survivors and enhances prevention efforts.”
For more information about the Office of Human Trafficking Prevention and to download a copy of the report, visit https://www.howardcountymd.gov/human-trafficking-prevention.