Human trafficking training
Do you work with potential victims of human trafficking? Hope for Justice believes in multi-agency working and trains law enforcement, medical professionals, social services, community outreach programs and other frontline agencies and organizations across the United States and Canada.
The value of training
We believe that by equipping people who are specialists in their own field with relevant, comprehensive and practical guidance, we can increase the number of victims identified and improve the response and help offered by organizations like yours.
We offer instructor-led training (in-person and virtual) or online courses to complete in your own time via the Hope for Justice Learning Academy portal.
(Looking for training outside of the USA? See our training options for the UK and Northern Ireland.)
Online training in your own time at our Learning Academy
The Hope for Justice Learning Academy is a dedicated online learning portal offering interactive training for the public and for frontline practitioners including clinicians, law enforcement and employees and management within the hospitality industry.
Above: Hope for Justice’s online training picked up awards in 4 different categories at the 2023 Telly Awards
Hope for Justice offers online or in-person human trafficking training tailored to your organization or group. Trainings can be shorter and awareness-based, or in-depth courses equipping you with all the knowledge and tools you need to understand this crime, the law and dealing with victims and survivors.
Who’s it for?
Hope for Justice human trafficking training is particularly suitable for law enforcement and for agencies involved with corrections and probation; local, state and federal government; health care and medical professionals; and nonprofits and community groups, especially those working with vulnerable or marginalized people or other high-risk groups. We can also offer human trafficking training focused on business and supply chains.
Hope for Justice human trafficking training courses and modules have been developed by our experts who have been working in this field for many years, including our team of Investigators who bring firsthand experience to the instructor-led sessions. This includes expertise gained during years working for law enforcement agencies including the FBI, NCIS and National Counterterrorism Center.
Case studies: Examples of our training successes
Our investigators train U.S. counter-narcotics agents, for example at Atlanta Carolinas HIDTA (pictured). Drug traffickers look to increase profits and market control through diversification, using trafficking routes for drugs, labor, sex, and violence. Transporting people for sex, usually women and children, is just another egregious source of profits for these violent criminals.
Among the places we provided training was New Mexico, following an invitation by the New Mexico HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Program. Hope for Justice Investigator and Trainer Bill Loucks, who knows the issues firsthand, having been a former law enforcement officer for more than 15 years, said: “Human trafficking training for law enforcement is critical to effectively fight modern-day slavery.”
He and fellow investigator Jeff Bolettieri also provided similar training to the New England HIDTA. Jeff said: “How can we eradicate modern slavery? The answer is education. We must bring awareness to everyone. Not only law enforcement and prosecutors, but also healthcare providers, hospitality, banking personnel and the general public. The police cannot do this alone.”
After successfully training federal agents at the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in New York, pictured below, Hope for Justice was invited to provide human trafficking training at other DEA offices. “Law enforcement is waking up to the fact that there is a real nexus between human trafficking and drug trafficking – the perpetrators are often the same people,” explained our team leader, Richard Schoeberl.
Educating bank workers
Another example of our training in action is when Hope for Justice delivered training to Bank of the West’s 10,000 employees so they are equipped to identify human trafficking in-person and in customers’ financial transactions. Workers in this sector can be a frontline defense against human trafficking, which is a tragedy for millions of individuals – but for criminals, it is big business. Their profits and expenses leave a trace through their financial transactions. Banks and other financial institutions are in a prime position to spot the signs of trafficking, which generates an estimated $245 billion of illegal profits every year. These profits have to be disguised before they can be introduced into the legitimate financial system (money laundering). Through their anti-money laundering strategies, banks have an opportunity to detect the criminals responsible. Research by BAE Systems found that 69% of U.S. financial institutions have had to investigate transactions linked to trafficking, much higher than other reported markets. But 75% of employees at financial institutions are not confident in their ability to identify human trafficking signs among transactions.
Hope for Justice has developed training to equip bank employees to identify indicators of trafficking in a person’s financial transactions or when they use a bank’s services. This training – a 45-minute online course followed by in-person training – is being rolled out across Bank of the West’s 600 branches. If a bank employee has reason to suspect a customer of being involved in trafficking, as a victim or perpetrator, they can file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). This is then investigated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which is a division of the U.S. Treasury.
Richard Schoeberl (pictured), Hope for Justice’s U.S. Team Leader for Investigations & Training, explained: “It’s about spotting what should be there but isn’t, as well as what is there but shouldn’t be. A typical person’s bank account will show money going out for bills, groceries, car payments. But someone having their finances controlled by a trafficker won’t have those expenses. Instead, you might see lots of cash coming in and out, or charges for online advertisements, hotel rooms, and multiple cell phones.”
Why is training so important?
The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has found “deeply entrenched economic and societal inequalities that are among the root causes of human trafficking,” with traffickers adapting their methods to take advantage. The Global Slavery Index recently estimated that there are more than 1 million people in the U.S. living in conditions of modern-day slavery. This means up-to-date training is more important than ever.