By Victoria Robertson, HTC associate
In accordance with HB14-1273, the Colorado Human Trafficking Council convened for its first meeting on Friday, October 3. Its 28 members included law enforcement, legislators and NGOs appointed by the Governor or by Executive Directors of various state agencies. HTC Director Claude d’Estree and other HTC associates attended the meeting.
The main purposes of this first meeting were administrative, including review of governing bylaws, scheduling of future meeting dates, and outlining of the expectations for Council members and chairs. Importantly and to better understand its role, the Council discussed its mandate, including the following priorities:
Additionally, the Human Trafficking Council outlined priorities and goals for the upcoming year. These included identifying promising practices, assessing current services and potential “gap” areas available to victims of trafficking, developing training standards for service providers, and further exploring safe harbor legislation. Council members also identified realistic challenges that might hinder these goals (including funding and time limitations), opposing opinions and resistance both within and outside of the Council, as well as difficulties regarding victim identification and varying definitions within the field. Members were careful to stress the importance of keeping the issue of labor trafficking in the forefront of Council discussions.
Leading up to 2015, future Human Trafficking Council meetings will continue to focus on administrative tasks including the election of a chair and vice chair as well as well as the provision of education sessions on issues of human trafficking as suggested by Council members. Human Trafficking Council meetings are open to the public and the next meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 21 from 9am to 12pm at the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.