Human Trafficking Seminars to Increase Public Awareness

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, reaffirming the American values of freedom and equality.  The Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States is currently in draft form going through revision and approval.  The plan embraces the principles and builds on the progress that our nation has made in combating human trafficking and modern-day forms of slavery through government action, as well as partnerships with civil society and concerned citizens such as you.

Public awareness must be increased to engage more stakeholders and increase victim identification.  There must also be an expansion of access to victim services.  The quality of services, not merely the quantity, must be addressed to ensure the victims are supported throughout their long-term journey as a survivor.  To increase public awareness ACF Region VI, along with the Federal Partners Collaboration Workgroup, presented two informative seminars, Adult Victims of Trafficking and Youth Victims of Trafficking, in July and August.  Nearly 200 participants heard from federal and local agency experts share information related to the victimization, trauma, and services for youth and adults who are trafficked.   Key ACF and HHS Region 6 staff presented an overview of the Human Trafficking Strategic Plan and the Administration’s Leadership at each of the seminars. 

The Adult Victims of Trafficking seminar then included a panel of experts:

  • Bill Bernstein, Assistant Director, Mosaic Family Services; Co-Chair, The Freedom Initiative presented “Overview of Region VI and National Human Trafficking Legislation” and “Attorney General’s Task Force and Coordination Workgroup”
  • Robert Canino, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission presented “A Case of Adult Trafficking in Tulsa Oklahoma and the Types of Industries for which Victims are Trafficked”
  • Jan Langbein, Executive Director, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support presented “The Crossover Between Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence”
  • Sgt. Alfred Nunez, Dallas Police Department, Vice Section presented “Investigation and Prosecution”

The Youth Victims of Trafficking seminar also included a panel of experts:

  • Laura DeMoss, Assistant Program Director, Mosaic Family Services, Dallas presented “Interface with Office of Refugee Resettlement; Texas Legislation; Mosaic Services”
  • Detective James Bordelon, Dallas Police Department, High Risk Victims Unit presented “Profile of Youth Victims”
  • Melissa Miles, Executive City Attorney, Chief, Code Compliance Litigation “The Use of Code Enforcement in Human Trafficking”
  • Alan Schonborn, Vice President, Community Services, ACH Child and Family Services presented “Services for Trafficked Youth; Safe Houses”

We look forward to the continued engagement among federal partners, stakeholders, and communities to make the vision of a comprehensive, trauma-informed, and sustainable victim service response a reality.