Contact Information: Release Date: For immediate release
Contact: Leanne McCallum, Task Force Coordinator
Tel: 504- 584- 1170
PRESS RELEASE: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month Raises Awareness of Hidden Crime in Louisiana
The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force will honor the 7th annual National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month by hosting and supporting awareness raising activities throughout the month of January.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – January 11, 2018
The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force will honor the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month with community awareness announcements and events throughout the month of January. The Task Force will join the national conversation about human trafficking by educating the community and raising awareness about how it affects the Greater New Orleans region.
In December 2010, the President of the United States designated January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Each year since, organizations and agencies across the country have hosted activities and awareness campaigns in observation of the event. For January 2018, the Task Force will mark the national month of awareness by sharing content and media from partner agencies, advertising upcoming awareness and training events, and providing educational information about human trafficking. These events and activities will be posted on the Task Force’s calendar.
“Human trafficking isn’t just an international crime or something that only happens in other parts of the country: it’s happening here in our own backyard,” says Leanne McCallum, the Task Force Coordinator. “Human trafficking is a hidden crime. Not only is it an illicit trade that can be difficult to detect, but also victims often don’t come forward to report their experiences. The more we can engage the public and raise awareness, the more we will be able to prevent trafficking from happening and identify victims and perpetrators.”
Human trafficking is when a trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to compel a victim for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Louisiana is a hub for the crime, and agencies and organizations across the state are working together to combat it:
● In 2016 Polaris reported 334 calls to their hotline from Louisiana with 108 cases of trafficking;
● A Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) report found that there were 447 human trafficking cases statewide in 2016;
● Shared Hope, a national anti-sex trafficking advocacy organization, gave Louisiana an “A” report card for its legislation and efforts to combat juvenile sex trafficking.
The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force continues to be a regional resource for collaboration in the fight against human trafficking. Since receiving a United States Department of Justice Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking grant in 2015, the Task Force has been a leader within the Greater New Orleans anti-trafficking community:
● Task Force funded social service providers have aided more than 185 victims and survivors of trafficking in the Greater New Orleans community, providing more than 12,450 units of services including: case management, housing, medical services, transportation, legal services and advocacy;
● Funded law enforcement partners have conducted more than 140 human trafficking investigations and identified more than 50 confirmed human trafficking victims;
● Task Force members have conducted more than 65 outreach activities, hosted 20 educational events, and trained more than 680 people.
The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force is a coalition of more than 80 state, civil society, and citizen organizers, the Task Force is committed to the prevention of human trafficking in the Greater New Orleans area through education, outreach, and collaboration. The Task Force’s primary goal is to collaborate in sharing and disseminating information, contacts, and protocols related to the existence, prevention, and response to human trafficking in New Orleans.
For more information on future plans and events sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force visit www.nolatrafficking.org/calendar or contact the Task Force Coordinator, Leanne McCallum, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The production of this content was supported by grant number 2015-VT-BX-K004, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this content are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.