Coalition promotes human trafficking awareness
January 16, 2013
NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2013
In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, observed nationally on Jan. 11, King County Council members issued a proclamation Monday to bring regional attention to modern-day slavery.
Representatives from the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Bridge Residential Recovery Program for prostituted youth, Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking Alliance and the advocacy group Washington Engage joined the council in recognizing the regional partnerships to combat human trafficking.
“In Washington, we can be proud that we were the first state in the union to criminalize human trafficking, and King County successfully prosecuted the state’s first human trafficking case,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative and the proclamation sponsor, said in a statement. “Local officials and rescue organizations are working together to send a strong message that forced servitude and prostitution of immigrants and teens will not be tolerated.”
Officials estimate as many as 17,500 people — mostly women and children — get trafficked into the United States each year. The people involved in human trafficking endure forced labor, sexual exploitation, debt bondage and forced marriages.
“Raising awareness and educating the public about the horrors of human trafficking is one of the best ways we can stop these crimes,” Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn said in a statement. “I am very pleased that here in King County we are focusing on human trafficking and ways to combat it.”