Human Trafficking Collaborative
A national award-winning Lawyers Club Initiative
The Lawyers Club of San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF), the predecessor of the Human Trafficking Collaborative, was created on May 13, 2014 to allow Lawyers Club to raise awareness and address the overwhelming and growing problem of human trafficking in our region. The HTTF was initially a result of an initiative the Board of Directors aimed at educating the legal community about human trafficking and its impact on San Diego. Since its inception, the HTTF has met with other community partners in San Diego to determine existing gaps in services and other needs, identified its objectives, and created various subcommittees to tackle the issue of Human Trafficking from all angles.
As of the new fiscal year in 2016, Lawyers Club’s Board made the determination that the work of the Task Force warranted a more permanent position within the structure of the organization. The Task Force was upgraded to a permanent initiative and has been renamed the Human Trafficking Collaborative (“HTC”) to better reflect the unique collaboration this initiative has created among San Diego organizations and leaders.
In 2016, Lawyers Club’s HTC was honored by the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations for its work with the prestigious national Public Service Award. Lawyers Club was presented with this honor at the NCWBA’s Annual Women’s Bar Leadership Summit in San Francisco.
The HTC welcomes San Diego community members who share a common purpose in the fight against human trafficking. Law students and lawyers must join as a member of Lawyers Club to join HTC and the fight against human trafficking. Non-lawyer community members are encouraged to join as members to support the work Lawyers Club and receive access to other Lawyers Club events.
The HTC is primarily comprised of attorneys from a variety of sectors including government and private practice, advocates, non-profit and also includes community leaders from non-governmental organizations, and the corporate world. The HTC also includes “Honorary Members” including representatives of elected officials who serve in an advisory capacity.
The overarching goal of the HTC activities is to engage Lawyers Club’s members and provide them with the skills and tools necessary to join the fight against human trafficking in San Diego.
To achieve this goal, the HTC categorized its initiatives into four distinct areas of focus, creating various subcommittees and a plan of action to address related issues:
Raising awareness of this issue within the legal community and the broader San Diego community is critical to addressing human trafficking in San Diego. This is everyone's fight. There is a common misconception that human trafficking is something that happens in other places and to other people. Therefore, the first step in engaging the community in the fight against human trafficking is to ensure that the public has a complete and accurate understanding of the breadth of this problem in San Diego and its impact on the entire community.
The HTC launched its Community Education Program, coordinated by the Legal and Community Education Subcommittee, to help raise awareness of human trafficking. A key element of this program includes the creation of a “train-a-trainer” program, wherein human trafficking experts and HTC members educate individuals, organizations, and community groups about this issue.
In both criminal and civil contexts, there is an immense need for San Diego attorneys to provide pro bono representation to survivors of human trafficking. To address this need, the HTC conducts training seminars on pro bono legal representation.
Advocacy and Outreach:
Advocacy and coalition-building are critical to a sustaining fight against human trafficking. Educational advocacy aimed at educating Lawyers Club members about pending human trafficking legislation and educating government officials on the impact of this issue on the San Diego community. As part of its outreach, the HTC develops strategic partnerships with community groups and other organizations that are also involved in the fight against human trafficking.
Support for Non-Governmental Organizations:
There are a number of local organizations already addressing the areas of need identified by the HTC, specifically prevention and survivor support. Lawyers Club lends support by educating its members about the work of these organizations, encouraging volunteerism from Lawyers Club members, and encouraging these organizations to apply for grants from Lawyers Club's nonprofit arm, the Fund for Justice. Learn about Fund for Justice on our website here.
The HTC welcomes the involvement of individuals interested in helping raise awareness and address the overwhelming and growing problem of human trafficking in our region. If you are an attorney or law student, you must be a Lawyers Club member to join the HTC. We welcome other community advocates and leaders and strongly encourage Lawyers Club membership, even if you are not an attorney or law student. Becoming a Lawyers Club member helps support the organization and its mission to advance the status of women in the law and society. Membership also provides the opportunity to attend other Lawyers Club events! Lawyers Club membership is open to attorneys, judges, law students and non-attorneys.
To join the HTC, email the Co-Chairs Renee Galente and Meghan Spieker and ask to be added to the HTC e-mail list. Once you are added to the e-mail list, you will receive regular updates regarding HTC meetings and events and other human trafficking news and announcements.