AG Wilson, state and local leaders announce new effort to combat human trafficking in the 11th Circuit

New Regional Human Trafficking Task Force Launches

(LEXINGTON, S.C.) – Dec. 8, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced the launch of the Lexington, Edgefield, McCormick, and Saluda (LEMS) Regional Human Trafficking Task Force. The task force is chaired by the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center.

As the Chair of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force, Attorney General Wilson supports expansion of regional task forces to curtail the crime. Regional task forces are able to better focus on the specific needs of their communities and coordinate a response, while also strengthening the State Human Trafficking Task Force’s efforts and providing even more ‘boots on the ground’ to fight this growing crime.

“It is critical that we continue to strengthen anti-trafficking networks across the state to increase our ability to effectively identify victims and respond accordingly,” Wilson said. “I applaud the efforts of Solicitor Hubbard and the Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center for recognizing the need to coordinate regional efforts to better position those investigating and prosecuting these cases.”

The South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force reported a 360% increase in the total number of trafficking victims recorded in South Carolina last year as well as an increase in the number of human trafficking cases reported in the state.

“Human trafficking is a complex issue impacting so many vulnerable children and youth,” Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Carol Yarborough said. “We are proud to be joining efforts with Solicitor Hubbard’s office, local law enforcement and the State Task Force to aid in a multidisciplinary response.”

The LEMS Regional Task Force is the ninth of its kind in South Carolina joining communities across the state in increasing the coordination of anti-human trafficking efforts.

For more information about the LEMS Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, contact Eric Russell, Director of Forensic Services, Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center, 803-358-7200. For information about the SC Human Trafficking Task Force, visit humantrafficking.scag.gov.

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