Missouri Attorney General hosts training on human trafficking cases

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COLUMBIA- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is hosting free training for Prosecutors and Law Enforcement on Human Trafficking.

The first day consists of looking over the legal framework regarding human trafficking and the different techniques that can be used to interview subjects involved.

The second day will put these teachings into action through a workshop using case studies, as well as a lesson on how to present these types of cases in court.

Deputy Attorney General Joe Dandurand said the purpose of doing this training now is because, "Our legislature just passed another set of laws and they've increased the penalties severely."

Dandurand said, "This is the first time that National Attorney General Training and Research Institute (NAAGTRI) has put a program on in Missouri. We are one of the first states to have the benefit of this training. 

He said this training differs from other human trafficking events because it reaches a more national scope.

Deputy Director of NAAGTRI, Judy McKee, said the main take away is that law enforcement, investigators and prosecutors need to make the case victim centered. "We want to focus on the demand part, make sure the police, investigators go after the people who are paying for sex, as well as the pimps who are victimizing the victims of sex trafficking." 

McKee said statistically speaking, it is hard to tell if there is any increase this year in human trafficking in comparison to other years because the statistics are very 'squishy'. But she believes there are around 30,000 to 40,000 victims in the United States.