New director of NH human trafficking task force namedStaff report
August 23. 2017 11:48AM
CONCORD — A social worker who has worked in New Hampshire and overseas helping human-trafficking victims is the new project director for the state's Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force.
Rebecca Ayling is a senior intensive case manager at Child and Family Services, where she has developed plans to combat human trafficking in New Hampshire, according to a news release announcing her appointment.
The former director of the task force was fired last spring after her public remarks supporting legalized prostitution came under fire by the Manchester police department, one of the core members of the group, and the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Ayling started as a social worker with the state Division for Children, Youth and Families. She worked with children and families in England and also worked for an international anti-trafficking organization in Bangkok, Thailand, identifying and assisting victims.
She holds a bachelor's degree from North Central University and a masters in social work from the University of New Hampshire.
Acting U.S. Attorney John J. Farley said Ayling is a perfect fit to run the task force. "Rebecca's experience in combatting human trafficking both in New Hampshire and elsewhere will make her an excellent project director," he said.
Erin Kelly of Child and Family Services said Ayling "has the passion and commitment it will take to succeed in this position and to lead the task force on to meeting its goals of combatting all forms of human trafficking through services, prosecution and prevention."
Funded by a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the task force includes representatives of the Manchester police department, Child and Family Services, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit, which investigates human trafficking and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Its mission is to ensure that comprehensive services are made available to victims and to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of sex trafficking and forced labor, according to the release.