Duluth Kicks Off Trafficking Prevention Month

The sixth annual gathering honored victims and survivors.

DULUTH, Minn. – Jan. is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and Duluth is honoring both victims and survivors.

Organizers of today’s gathering say when you have people willing to purchase other people and there are potential victims who are vulnerable then human trafficking can exist.

A performance by women draped in red shawls helped kick off trafficking prevention month in Duluth.

It was a packed house to hear how community members can do their part to prevent human trafficking.

Some agencies are targeting middle school kids with lessons to help them learn about boundaries.

“It’s all about building healthy relationships and being a support person for youth and holding them accountable when they’re participating in risky behavior,” said PAVSA Youth Advocate Mel Alvar. “I also mention that every single youth agency out there is also doing prevention work whether they recognize it or not.”

Many community leaders took part in today’s event.

Human trafficking happens all around the world with mostly women and children as victims.

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority continues being involved in human trafficking prevention because decades ago women were invited on ships to be trafficked.

“Since 9/11 all of the homeland security roles have changed, the fencing that’s up on the waterfront, the security personnel that are in place to make sure that the manifest for the ship matches the people coming and going on board,” said Duluth Seaway Port Authority Public Relations Director Adele Yorde. “We’ve also worked with the trafficking task force to train all of the security personnel.”

An August 2017 report by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota (UMD) takes a closer look at the sex buyers in the state of Minnesota.

Most of them are white men, use the internet, direct in person solicitation or word of mouth networks.

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