The Moraine Park Fair Trade College team hosted a “Be AWARE! Help Stop Human Trafficking” event at all three campuses on Tuesday, January 31. This event featured the short video 5 Shocking Truths about Human Trafficking in America, along with educational information, delicious Fair Trade chocolate chip cookies baked by Tom Endejan and culinary students, and trafficking awareness mini footballs.
It was a timely look at this issue, as Super Bowl weekend is thought to be one of the biggest periods of human trafficking in our country.
Over 150 attendees learned the scary truth about human trafficking globally, nationally, statewide and in our own backyard. Figures on human trafficking globally show that 20.9 million people are victims of forced labor and human trafficking and 5.5 million of those are children. In the last UN Trafficking in Persons report, it was determined that the percentage of children being trafficked is on the rise.
Sex trafficking of children and youth is growing nationally and in Wisconsin. In the experience of our local law enforcement and service providers, sex trafficking of minors is occurring throughout the MPTC District, especially up and down the Highway 41 corridor. In addition to trauma and sexual abuse, children and youth who are sex trafficked experience coercion, physical violence and many times drug addiction, from the traffickers and from the “johns” who purchase sex. Young people with current or past history of child abuse, being homeless, runaway, and not having a good support system are especially at risk.
Scott Henke, Executive Director of the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with MPTC for the West Bend Campus event and shared information on what the Hartford Anti-Trafficking group is doing.