Southwest Florida was one of the first areas in Florida which organized in 2005 to fight human trafficking. SWFL Regional Human Trafficking Coalition has created organized efforts to combat this crime.

The mission of the Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition is to develop a partnership of the community, service providers, law enforcement and the media to combat Human Trafficking through education, coordination, outreach and training.

Consistent with that mission, it has been working closely with FDLE in providing victim services through the Abuse Counselling and Treatment Center ( ACT) in Ft. Myers over the past 18 months and assisting in the investigation of a case involving numerous victims, many of whom were able to provide information to the investigators at FDLE. We have served as the liaison between the victims and law enforcement. 

Members of our Coalition are known as leaders in the fight against trafficking and have offered their services as media contacts and liaisons. ACT has been providing victim services, 24 hour hotline, counseling and shelter for over 36 years and collaborating with the SWFL Regional Human Trafficking Coalition since 2009. The SWFL Regional Human Trafficking Coalition is proud to announce that through our partnerships and collaboration, success in bringing justice to victims of human trafficking has been attained in our communities.

The efforts of the SWFL Regional Human Trafficking Coalition, Abuse Counseling and Treatment, and Florida Department of Law enforcement had led to the prevention, protection, and successful prosecution of sex trafficking. 

Slave Free Southwest Florida: In an effort to meet the objectives of the Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking coalition and create awareness within the community Slave Free SWFL was created in 2013. The event is a collaborative effort to educate vulnerable populations about human trafficking in SWFL. The event was created to benefit the entire family so that parents and children can both understand how the recruitment, and exploitation of any child and/or adult takes place with sex and labor trafficking. Slave Free SWFL provides the community with educational and fun activities that raise awareness and prevention of Human Trafficking.

OBJECTIVE
To promote community awareness of the crime. To help our community understand that risks factors and promote prevention. To promote awareness among communities and populations that may be at risk. To act as a support group for law enforcement. To serve as liaison between any referral source for potential victims and the appropriate service provider.
To coordinate community resources, in an effort to provide comprehensive services to all victims of Human Trafficking.

This project demands significant involvement by the various organizations within the community to ensure the safety of our children. Ultimate success is highly dependent on the efforts of these organizations in supporting our objectives so that we can continue to create awareness of the resources available to the victims of this crime and to help the community understand that this is a concern that affects us all.

The benefits of this event include creating awareness of the crime, educating the members of the community on the characteristics of this crime, and to let the community know we are there for them is they need our services.