AG Fitch announces human trafficking victims fund application period

JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) – Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced on Tuesday that the first round of applications from the Victims of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation Fund are available.

According to the Office of the Attorney General, about $2.5 million will be available for organizations that provide services to victims of human trafficking.

“An estimated 40.3 million people are currently being trafficked for forced labor or sex around the world, including right here in Mississippi,” said Fitch. “There are few crimes that rob a person of their very humanity and dignity like human trafficking. These funds will help these victims begin to piece their lives back together and make their way to becoming survivors.”

The Mississippi Legislature created the fund through House Bill 1559 during the 2020 Legislative Session to give funding to direct service providers for trafficking victims throughout the state.

By statute, funding will come from assessments for conviction of certain crimes, donations and legislative grants. The fund got its first donation from the River of Pearls Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution this year, along with the Legislature giving $2.5 million to the Fund during this year’s Legislative Session.

The fund is managed by a seven-member committee, including appointments by the Attorney General; Gov. Tate Reeves; Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann; Speaker of the House Philip Gunn; Commissioner of Public Safety Sean Tindell; Commission of Child Protection Services Andrea Sanders and one representative of a service provider. The Office of the Attorney General is administering the fund.

The application and solicitation, fund rules and other information related to the application distribution and the fund can be found on the Office of the Attorney General’s office website.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and the funding decision will be announced in December.

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