Minnesota reports on human sex trafficking have demonstrated the need to work against trafficking and prostitution. Some of these reports identified specific groups as particularly affected by trafficking, reporting that Native American girls and women are some of the most vulnerable to being trafficked while having the least access to resources. Duluth, being a small metropolis, an international port city and having a relatively large Native population, has become identified by reports as one of the major hubs for trafficking and prostitution in Minnesota.
Recognizing the need to create a common platform for the community to address the issue of sex trafficking, PAVSA and the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) collaborated on a project to address this issue. In 2010 the Duluth Trafficking Task Force was formed with the goal of reframing the issue of trafficking within the context of violence against women and identifying service needs. The Duluth Trafficking Task Force is a multi-disciplinary group comprised of victim service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, educators, agencies serving homeless and at-risk youth, community members, and the port authority. The Duluth Trafficking Task Force has worked to develop protocols and policies related to sex trafficking, engage legislators to support Safe Harbor legislation, and build awareness of sex trafficking as a community issue. For information about the Duluth Trafficking Task Force contact Shunu Shrestha, Trafficking Program Coordinator at 218/726-1442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.