York Co. Human Trafficking Task Force

Human trafficking typically takes two forms, labor trafficking or sex trafficking, and involves force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or involuntary labor. Its victims are women, men, young children, and teens. Its perpetrators range from the owner of a local nail salon to a multinational ring of pornographers.

Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked annually across international borders, and more than half of these victims worldwide are children, according to the U.S. Department of State. After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms trade as the second largest criminal industry in the world, and it is the fastest growing.

Human trafficking is not only an international issue affecting foreign-born persons, but is also a major problem within the United States. In particular, many young people are being trafficked up an down the east coast for purposes of prostitution, pornography, or other commercial sexual exploitation. Often victims are held captive or confined, constantly monitored and accompanied, isolated, traumatized, and without hope.

To respond to this growing problem, the York County Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2005 by a volunteer group of human services agencies and personnel in York County. The Task Force is comprised of law enforcement agencies, human and victim service providers, and community members representing an array of perspectives but united in their commitment to helping end human trafficking through starting right here in York.


To promote awareness and increase education to South Central Pennsylvania regarding the crime of trafficking and to provide support and referral services to those identified as trafficking victims.

Services offered through the Task Force include:

  • Outreach and education for law enforcement, medical professional, and social and legal service providers on special characteristics and needs of trafficking survivors
  • Training and technical assistance to providers in Central Pennsylvania serving victims of trafficking
  • Public awareness and outreach events

If you are interested in learning more about the York County Human Trafficking Task Force or in having a task member provide an educational program to your group, please contact Michelle Cooper, YWCA York's Human Trafficking Advocate, at 717-434-1745 or mcooper@ywcayork.org