Monday, January 9, 2012

National Human Trafficking Prevention Day Press Conference

National Human Trafficking Prevention Day- Press Release

Date: January 11th, 1pm
What: National Human Trafficking Prevention Day Press Conference
Where: Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda, 2nd floor
Who: Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Senator Rapert, Representative Meeks, Representative Leding, Sheriff Doc Holladay, Partners Against Trafficking Humans (PATH), Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), Not for Sale, Catholic Charities, and Rush Hour Traffic.

Legislators, local groups observe National Human Trafficking Prevention Day, Jan. 11

LITTLE ROCK, AR — National Human Trafficking Awareness Day will be observed with a news conference at 1 p.m., Jan. 11, in the 2nd floor Rotunda area of the State Capitol by Arkansas legislators, representatives of local and national anti-human trafficking groups, law enforcement and others who want to help eradicate the problem of modern day slavery.

Legislators represented include Rep. David Meeks, R-Conway, who says that upon researching the problem he found Arkansas to be “shockingly” one of nine states lagging behind in enacting meaningful anti-human trafficking legislation. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Senator Rapert, R- Conway, and Representative Leding, D- Fayetteville, will also be in attendance and in support of the fight against sex- trafficking in the state of Arkansas.

Through the educational efforts of such local groups as Partners Against Trafficking Humans (PATH) and Rush Hour Traffic and national groups such as Not For Sale and Truckers Against Trafficking (all of which will be represented at the news conference), Meeks found that young women and girls as young as 9 years old are being brutalized and sold for sex right here in Arkansas.

PATH and its sister groups are not just engaged in educating the public about the problem but in providing respite and healing for trafficking victims with a planned shelter and other facilities. 
Unfortunately, says Louise Allison, PATH co-founder, if a human trafficking victim is rescued off the street from her captors, there are no medium- or long-term facilities available.

President Barack Obama has declared January National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and in light of that, legislators, members of local law enforcement, such as Sheriff Doc Holladay and Detective Haskins, and local and national human trafficking groups hope the media and anyone interested will join them at 1 p.m. Jan. 11 to learn more about what has become the second-largest money-making criminal activity in the world and how to stop it.

Human trafficking statistics:
• It’s estimated that there are between 100,000 and 300,000 American children at risk of entering the sex trade each year (Truckers Against Trafficking)

• Victims are hidden in plain sight in the house down the street, at massage parlors, truck stops and rest areas

• The I-40 corridor through Arkansas is a major artery along which trafficking victims are transported from one part of the country to another (Truckers Against Trafficking)

• Numbers are vastly under reported because of victims being arrested for drug, prostitution and other crimes and not reported as a trafficking victims

• Craigslist has been commonly used as a source of trafficking victims

• Between July 1 and Sept. 30 of 2011, alone, there were 16 trafficking-related calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center from Arkansas, 5 of those from Little Rock (reported from the Polaris Project)

• Worldwide human trafficking is a $32 billion industry with 27 million modern-day slaves (from Truckers Against Trafficking)

Partners Against Trafficking Humans: Goal is to provide residential treatment, in a safe, caring environment to promote restoration and reintegration for exploited women and children. The goal of PATH is to provide a safe place where the healing can begin in a Christ-like environment

Rush Hour [Traffic] exists to raise human trafficking awareness in Arkansas and beyond. One step at a time, we work together, inviting others with the same passion to join us in our fight. While RH[T] seeks to promote awareness of modern day slavery, we also exist to provide recovery and restoration for victims of trafficking. This includes helping them find shelter, healthcare, counseling, and other various support. Together we can stop this injustice - one life at a time.

The vision Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) started with in 2009 was of educating, equipping, empowering and mobilizing members of the trucking industry to play a critical role in the fight against human trafficking.

Not For Sale AR is a branch of the Not For Sale campaign and works on addressing the issue of human trafficking and modern day slavery in AR as well as all over the U.S. and the world. We know that in order for us to end slavery in OUR lifetime it will take all of us doing our part! With all of us working together we CAN re-abolish slavery!

Representative David Meeks:
Louise Allison, founder of PATH:
Emily Boedeker, founder of Rush Hour:
Dorothy Cox, Truckers Against Trafficking:
Stephanie Jira, Not For Sale:

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