Arizona Human Trafficking Council. "Minutes of the Meeting of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council." 27 May 2014.
Hickle, Kristine E., and Dominique E. Roe-Sepowitz. "Putting The Pieces Back Together: A Group Intervention For Sexually Exploited Adolescent Girls." Social Work With Groups 37.2 (2014): 99-113. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 July 2014.
"Polaris Project Hails Arizona Human Trafficking Legislation | Polaris | Combating Human Trafficking and Modern-day Slavery." Polaris Project, 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 July 2014.
Smith, Linda A., Samantha Healy Vardaman, and Melissa A. Snow. National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America's Prostituted Children. Vancouver: Shared Hope International, 2009. Print.
Several fundamental ingredients are necessary for any state to effectively fight sex trafficking. First, domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) adolescents must be treated as victims, not criminals, by the public and law enforcement in order for them to receive proper treatment and integration into society (Hickle and Roe-Sepowitz, 100; Smith, Vardaman, and Snow, 74). Additionally, law enforcement must be equipped to crack down on traffickers and buyers (Smith, 74). This involves specialized training for police officers who work with human trafficking cases. Furthermore, appropriate housing must be available for all victims. Minors must be placed in housing facilities with specialized medical and therapeutic treatment programs for DMST victims (Hickle and Roe-Sepowitz, 102; Smith, Vardaman, and Snow, 74). Juvenile detention centers or an immediate return to their former homes adversely affects victims because these places are not prepared to provide healing for a victim’s psychological, emotional, and physical wounds (Smith, Vardaman, and Snow 75). Overall, government funding presents the biggest hurdle. Funding is absolutely crucial to help rescued victims get this type of required care (75).
Leaders in Arizona government are aware of the need for change and a shift is currently taking place to offensively equip this state to combat sex trafficking. In 2013, the governor formed the Arizona Human Trafficking Council. This Council is comprised of both public and private educators and leaders who currently work to combat human trafficking by raising public awareness, training law enforcement, and serving victims. For instance, the Arizona Human Trafficking Council is working with the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to enhance peace officer training, in the academies and agencies, regarding human trafficking (Council Minutes, 6).
Additionally, since the beginning of 2014, Polaris Project has been working with the Cindy McCain Project, Training and Resources United to Stop Trafficking (TRUST), and Clear Channel Outdoor to run a billboard campaign to raise public awareness about sex trafficking in Arizona and to advertise the National Human Trafficking Resource Hotline (“Polaris Project Hails”).