The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) announced efforts to help identify human trafficking within institutions of higher education with the release of its new resource for state authorizing agencies.
“A Toolkit for Identifying Human Trafficking and Fraud in Higher Education” was created by the FSMTB to answer three key questions:
- How do I identify if a school is engaged in trafficking?
- Do I have the authority to act, and what do I do next?
- How do I support the victims, and when should I engage law enforcement?
With sex trafficking rising in higher education by criminal enterprises, this tool can assist state regulators and agencies, organizations, and entities that “regularly intersect with the responsibilities and duties of state regulators.” It can also support regulatory and enforcement resources that can be stretched by the criminal factions that deal in sex trafficking.
Listing multiple red flags to watch for, the toolkit can help regulators identify issues that indicate further investigation is warranted. It also discusses best ways for interagency collaboration.
The toolkit was coauthored by FSMTB Executive Director Dr. Debra Persinger and Lorna Candler of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
The Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation supported the FSMTB project. A story in 2021 by USA Today helped bring this issue to light.