AG Kaul Announces New Partnership Between the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Task Forces

Jan 11 2024

MADISON, Wis. – During National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Attorney General Josh Kaul announces the formal partnership between the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (WAHTTF) and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIWR) Task Force. The goal of the partnership is to bring awareness to and address the prevalence of human trafficking in Wisconsin’s Indigenous communities, identify victims of both sex and labor exploitation, successfully investigate and prosecute offenders, and increase collaboration between law enforcement, tribal leadership, victim advocates, and other disciplines.


“Wisconsin DOJ works to hold traffickers accountable for their crimes and to support trafficking victims,” said Attorney General Kaul. “The new partnership between the Anti-Human Trafficking and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives task forces will help make both more comprehensive and effective.”


WAHTTF is a statewide multidisciplinary task force led by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and Project Respect. WAHTTF upholds the intent of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act by ensuring that all trafficking victims are identified and receive access to a comprehensive array of support services, and that crimes of human trafficking are successfully investigated and prosecuted at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels.


The MMIWR Task Force goal is to help fight the abduction, homicide, violence and trafficking of Indigenous women and relatives in Wisconsin. In partnership with the Wisconsin DOJ and the Indigenous communities, the task force is examining the factors that contribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women and relatives, focusing on understanding the roles federal, state and tribal jurisdictions play, and how to improve and implement robust data collection and reporting methods.


Task force leadership plan to engage membership in regular collaboration, providing shared input on data collection protocols and recommendations for best practices throughout the state. The WAHTTF, the MMIWR Task Force, American Indians Against Abuse (AIAA), and Wisconsin DOJ’s Office of Crime Victim Services plan to collaborate on a statewide survey distributed to non-Native victim service providers, Tribal victim service programs and Native-led nonprofit agencies, and District Attorney Office-based Victim/Witness Coordinators in an attempt to understand the scope of human trafficking in Native communities and learn about barriers to accessing services. AIAA is the statewide coalition of tribal victim service providers, providing training and technical assistance to Wisconsin’s 11 federally recognized tribes.


Wisconsin DOJ acknowledges the intersection of human trafficking and MMIWR in our state and is committed to following the lead of survivors, their families, and the communities most impacted by these crimes.