As we continue to tackle the many challenges Southern Nevada faced during 2020, we can’t forget about a significant issue that has impacted our community for many years: human trafficking. To support statewide efforts to combat human trafficking, United Way of Southern Nevada and ImpactNV have come together to create broad community support for organizations fighting on the frontlines.
Nevada was ranked 10th in the nation for the number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2017. At least 92% of the cases involved sex trafficking, and 23% of the sex trafficking cases involving minors. Nevada ranked second for the highest number of sex trafficking cases per 100,000 residents in the country, with more than twice the national average number of cases.
The core challenge to combatting trafficking in Nevada is a coordinated effort to address: the need for increased availability of support services for victims, a strategic long-term plan to disrupt demand, and support for the community to deploy evidence-based solutions.
UWSN has partnered with ImpactNV, along with a large coalition of community partners, to implement our United Against Human Trafficking Community Impact Project, funded through a partnership between United Way Worldwide and UPS. The project will build upon existing coordinated efforts to strengthen our regional response to human sex trafficking in Southern Nevada.
To address these challenges, the project will focus on the finalization of Impact NV’s Implementation Roadmap, which will include strategies, objectives, and specific activities with community action items to mitigate demand and provide a full array of wrap-around supports for victims of sex trafficking.
This process also includes the creation of our state’s first Nevada Human Trafficking Policy Council to coordinate policy and advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. In the upcoming 2021 Nevada Legislative Session, the Council will focus on legislation to address victim supports and limit buyer demand. Together, we will fight to end human trafficking in our community and help victims pave a path to a brighter future.