Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Safe Harbor: Reducing sex trafficking in Minnesota

Amy Hartman presenting at workshop
Did you know that human trafficking, including sex and labor trafficking, is the second largest criminal industry in the world, behind drugs and ahead of arms?  According to one service provider, 8,000 - 12,000 people are estimated to be involved in prostitution/sex trafficking in Minnesota.  Around the world in 2008 it is estimated $32 billion was spent in the selling and buying of humans.

Michele Garnett McKenzie
Beatriz Menanteau
A workshop recently co-sponsored by The Advocates for Human Rights and Cherish Our Children discussed sex trafficking and explored ways in which the church might help combat this crime against humanity.  Michele Garnett McKenzie, Advocacy Director at the Advocates for Human Rights provided recommended changes for the Minnesota Trafficking laws that will be presented early next year. 

Beatrize Menanteau the staff attorney with Advocates for Human Rights helped clarify legal definitions. Sex trafficking is a form of slavery and involuntary servitude, resulting in grave human rights violations. It involves the "receiving, recruiting, enticing, harboring, providing , or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of the individual or receiving profit or anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from sex trafficking." Hence, sex trafficking and pimping are part of the same continuum of criminal activity: the sexual exploitation of  women and girls.

Workshop participants
Workshop participants came from St. Barnabus Lutheran (Plymouth) , Valley of Peace Lutheran (Golden Valley) and Our Saviours Lutheran (S Mpls)

Additional note, the November, 2010 Minnesota Christian Chronicle has a couple of articles on the Church's role in working against human trafficking.

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