On Monday, February 27, 2012, the Center for Wholeness at the Presbyterian Church of the Apostles in Burnsville, and the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition will convene a panel of local experts for a discussion on the issue of human trafficking in Minnesota. Human trafficking has become a growing issue both locally and around the globe, and has become something that we can no longer ignore.
The panel, moderated by Rachel Herzfeldt-Kamprath of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, will feature Dr. Lauren Martin of the University of Minnesota, Suzanne Koepplinger of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, Michelle McKenzie with the Advocates for Human Rights, and Heather Caillier with Breaking Free. Each of the panelists and their respective organizations has been instrumental in researching and combating human trafficking in Minnesota.
Human trafficking has become a growing problem in Minnesota, but one that is difficult to accurately track. The most prevalent form has been found to be sex trafficking. Typically, victims of trafficking are people who are living in vulnerable circumstances and therefore more susceptible to the coercion of traffickers.
While Minnesota has been one of the first states to enact state legislation attempting to eliminate the occurrences of trafficking, we have also been identified as one of the states with the highest rates in the country. In 2008 the FBI declared Minneapolis the eighth worst city in the United States for trafficking of juveniles according to the Shattered Hearts report.
The panel conversation will be open to the public and will begin at 6:30pm on Monday, February 27, 2012. The event will take place at the Presbyterian Church of the Apostle, 701 East 130th Street, Burnsville, MN 55337-3671. For more information about the event, please contact Rachel Herzfeldt-Kamprath at 612-230-3234 or [email protected].