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Help stop the trade in human lives

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Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011 12:00 am

You recently published an informative article about Joelle Gomez, executive director of the Women’s Center of San Joaquin. There was a brief mention of their cooperation in hosting a Stop Human Trafficking Workshop in Lodi. Soroptimist International of Lodi and Lodi Sunrise, along with the Lodi branches of AAUW, BPW, Salvation Army and the Women’s Center, are sponsoring the free workshop to “Stop Human Trafficking” on March 5 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Temple Baptist Church on Lower Sacramento Road. The program speaker is Kay Buck, Executive Director of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, based in Los Angeles. The mission of CAST is to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery, and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations.

The workshop is intended to instill knowledge in the public, promote advocacy for victim’s rights, and draw the community to action. Come and learn what you can do to help stop the violent trade in human lives. For information, contact Bev Lacy at 334-5389. No tickets required.

Sex trafficking or slavery is the exploitation of women and children, within national or across international borders, for the purposes of forced sex work. Each year an estimated 800,000 women and children are trafficked. Some sex trafficking is highly visible, such as street prostitution. But many trafficking victims remain unseen, operating out of unmarked brothels in unsuspecting neighborhoods. Sex traffickers may also operate out of a variety of public and private locations, such as massage parlors, spas and strip clubs. This is happening in our own community.

Adult women make up the largest group of sex trafficking victims, followed by young girls. Sex trafficking can be extremely lucrative, especially in areas where opportunities for education and legitimate employment may be limited. When economic alternatives do not exist, women and girls are more vulnerable to being tricked and coerced into sexual servitude.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said, “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States.”

Bev Lacy

Co-president, SI

Lodi

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