AG Curtis Hill Announces Expansion Of Human Trafficking Investigations Unit


As the nation marks Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill today announced the expansion of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General Investigations Division’s Human Trafficking Investigations Unit (HTIU).

The HTIU works to:

  • raise public awareness of human trafficking;
  • educate Hoosiers on how to address human trafficking in local communities;
  • collaborate with schools, teachers and students to spread knowledge of at-risk factors and recruitment techniques – and how to report warning signs;
  • alert employers and businesses in industries prone to human trafficking to the signs and effects of this crime; and
  • work with county prosecutors and law enforcement at all levels — local, state and federal — to fight these crimes affecting communities statewide.

The Attorney General is assigning additional investigators and attorneys to this unit who possess extensive law enforcement experience. They include former police officers and prosecutors, all of whom who will provide educational, investigative and prosecution support to private and public agencies throughout Indiana. Beyond catching and prosecuting criminals, the unit also aims to prevent the occurrence of further human trafficking activity and the suffering it brings to individuals and communities.

“The predators engaging in this deplorable criminal activity need to know they will be sought out, captured and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Attorney General Hill. “Victims trapped in this illegal enterprise who are desperate for a better way of life need to know there is help and hope.”

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center can be reached at 1-888-373-7888. The organization lists tips on its website intended to help citizens recognize possible warning signs of human trafficking so they can notify authorities anytime they believe they have spotted victims in need of aid.

Human trafficking — whether labor trafficking or sex trafficking — is one of the largest and fastest-growing criminal industries in the world, just behind the drug trade. In the United States, statistics suggest 71 percent of labor trafficking victims entered the United States on lawful visas. Further, 83 percent of sex trafficking victims are U.S. citizens. Both forms of human trafficking recruit from marginalized groups: labor trafficking from immigrant populations and sex trafficking from women and children. The typical age of children pulled into commercial sex is as young as 12 to 14. Research indicates that individuals who have been previously traumatized as children or adults are at an increased risk for re-victimization, exploitation and other manipulation.