2012 News Releases

Attorney General expands Human Trafficking Advisory Board

Release Date: Jan 11, 2012

TOPEKA – (January 11, 2012) – A state advisory board that recommends improvements to Kansas laws and policies to combat human trafficking is being expanded to include a broader range of members, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

Schmidt made the announcement on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which has been designated by the United States Senate as part of the global effort to raise awareness of human trafficking and the need to combat it.

“The buying and selling of human beings, whether for sex or for labor, is a reprehensible form of modern-day slavery that is unacceptable in the 21st Century,” Schmidt said. “On this day aimed at raising global awareness of the problem, it is my pleasure to broaden our ongoing Kansas commitment to being part of the solution.”

First established in January 2010, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Advisory Board includes a range of representatives from law enforcement, prosecution, social services, advocates, victims of human trafficking and others engaged in combating human trafficking in Kansas. Schmidt’s new appointments today expand the board to include more points of view including members of the legislature and representatives of state agencies. The new appointees are:

  • Anna Pilato, Deputy Secretary, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Topeka
  • Jim McCollough, Executive Director, Center for Peace and Justice, Topeka
  • Kathy Gill-Hopple, Director of Forensic Nursing Services, Via Christi Hospitals, Wichita
  • Jane Stueve, School Health Consultant, Kansas Department of Education, Topeka
  • Mike Gee, Acting Director, Unemployment Insurance Performance, Employer Services & Appeals Chief, Audit & Investigations, Kansas Department of Labor, Topeka
  • Capt. Eric Sauer, Kansas Highway Patrol, Topeka
  • Kirk Thompson, Director, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Topeka
  • Chad Bettes, Chief of Staff, Kansas Department of Revenue, Topeka
  • Mark Masterson, Director of Sedgwick County Department of Corrections, Wichita
  • Becky Tackett, Director of Client Services, Crisis Center, Manhattan
  • Sen. Marci Francisco, Lawrence
  • Rep. Steve Brunk, Wichita
  • Rep. Pat Colloton, Leawood

Schmidt said he will ask the 37-member Human Trafficking Advisory Board to work with the legislature and with the administration of Governor Sam Brownback to strengthen the Kansas response to human trafficking during the 2012 legislative session. He also said he will ask the advisory board to review reports of outside organizations made during the past year that were critical of the Kansas efforts and to try to identify steps to improve.

“This is a critical human rights issue,” Schmidt said. “It’s a global problem that requires a concerted, coordinated local response. We’re committed to doing our part.”

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.