The city of West Hollywood invites community members to attend a free virtual educational training session on human trafficking on Tuesday, March 23, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., via Zoom. The goal of the Human Trafficking Community Training is to teach participants how to support and advocate for victims.
“As important as it is to conduct training among our public safety personnel, it is just as critical to educate and raise awareness among our city’s commissioners, advisory board members and the community at large,” West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Lauren Meister said. “Being able to recognize the signs of human trafficking is the first step to combatting human trafficking.”
“Human trafficking is a crisis throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands of victims are trafficked in the United States,” added West Hollywood Councilmember Sepi Shyne. “This training provides our community and city officials with the crucial tools needed to join the fight against human trafficking. We need to know what to look for in order to see something and say something.”
The training will be led by Dawn Schiller, an expert survivor-leader in the anti-trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault movements who has previously provided training for the city. Schiller offers insight on survivorship, education and service to others.
The Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as “modern-day slavery [that] involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” People of all genders, ages, races and socioeconomic statuses can become victims of human trafficking. Those who are already in vulnerable situations, including migrants and refugees, homeless LGBTQ youth, women and girls, and children in poverty are more likely to be targeted. In addition to sex trafficking, forced labor and domestic servitude are forms of human trafficking.
According to the Polaris Project, more than 25 million people are trafficked worldwide, and California is one of the largest states where human trafficking occurs in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has also intensified the scope and impact of human trafficking. The National Human Trafficking Hotline has experienced a 40% increase in emergency calls during the past year.
For information about the training, call West Hollywood Event Services Coordinator Kerry McCormack at (323)848-6385 or email email@example.com. To preregister, visit zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NHNZ8sA_Q2G789u9pkMpKQ.
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