Why Focus on Arrests?
Shield of the Children’s policy is to only conduct intervention work where the goal is the arrest and conviction of traffickers. We do not remove trafficked people without the arrest of their trafficker.
There are two main methods of operation in intervention work. The first is known as “soft rescue”, in which the goal is to remove the survivor from the trafficking situation. This is often done through outreach workers who befriend trafficked people and convince them to leave by offering employment opportunities or admission to a safe house. This method allows organizations to have many “rescues” and looks like a successful program. The problem is that law enforcement is not utilized and the traffickers are not brought to justice. They continue to operate in places where it is easy to find new victims. The survivors who are removed from the trafficking situation are quickly and easily replaced. This then increases the unique victims of human trafficking.
The second, and the method Shield uses, is known as “hard rescue.” In this method operatives work alongside local law enforcement to gather the necessary evidence to have traffickers arrested and convicted. Although this method is slow and only a small number of survivors may be transferred to a safe house as a result of this operation, the trafficking network is permanently broken. This means that they cannot continue to traffic countless people in the future.
Shield is committed to avoiding “band-aid” solutions and instead works for long-lasting results. We have carefully cultivated partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to make this possible.