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State Rep. Jillian Gilchrest to Chair Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Council

Jillian Gilchrest. Photo credit: Cara Paiuk (we-ha.com file photo)

Jillian Gilchrest of West Hartford, who represents the 18th Legislative District, is the first elected official to chair the Trafficking in Persons Council.

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State Rep. Jillian Gilchrest (D- West Hartford) has been selected to chair Connecticut’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Council. She will be the first elected official to hold this role since the Council’s establishment in 2007. Rep. Gilchrest previously held this role from 2015-2018 while employed at the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The TIP Council is required by state statute and consists of members from diverse backgrounds, including representatives from state agencies, the judicial branch, law enforcement, motor transport and community-based organizations. The TIP Council consults with government and non-governmental organizations (both state and federal) to develop recommendations to strengthen state and local efforts to prevent trafficking, protect and assist victims, prosecute traffickers, and provide updates and progress reports on trafficking in Connecticut.

“Human trafficking is an issue that once you learn about it, you can never turn away,” said Gilchrest. “I feel fortunate to get to work with and learn from state and national experts in the field of human trafficking. I am humbled to serve as chair once more and look forward to continuing to push for policies that will prevent and address the various forms of sex and labor trafficking that take place in our state.”

Gilchrest explained that Connecticut has been a leader nationally in passing public policies, implementing effective programming and developing key partnerships to combat human trafficking. However, with this being a crime that takes many forms, the work must continue.

“Connecticut has had some big policy wins in recent years, but we have barely scratched the surface on labor trafficking and have much work to do to address the illicit massage business industry, end demand, and support adult victims of sex trafficking,” said Gilchrest. “Our state has invested time and resources in addressing domestic minor sex trafficking, resulting in a coordinated response, trauma-informed advocacy and rapid response programming. We are also about to open the state’s first long-term residential safe home for adult survivors of sex trafficking. Connecticut has numerous organizations doing yeoman’s work to help support victims of human trafficking. I can’t wait to get back around the table to learn how policy makers can support their efforts.”

Under state statute, the TIP Council is convened by the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity. Steven Hernández, the Commission’s executive director, said he is excited that Gilchrest will chair the council.

“The work of the Trafficking in Persons Council has an important and storied history in this legislature that has been very much tied to Rep. Gilchrest’s thoughtful and energetic stewardship,” said Hernández. “We are proud to appoint her to reprise her role as Chair of the TIP Council as we focus our efforts in routing out the scourge of trafficking and theexploitation of peoples in the state and beyond.”

The TIP Council will meet on Dec. 16 to discuss their 2021 Policy Recommendations and Final Report.

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