Through Moraine Park Fair Trade College education efforts, IT and Corrections Club students are helping youth “Stay out of Traffic.” The anti-trafficking initiative began this past October when over 130 participants gathered at our Fond du Lac campus for “Make Fond du Lac a Traffic Free Zone.” This event was designed to bring awareness to the crime of trafficking in people for sex or labor globally, nationally, statewide and locally.
When the Moraine Park IT and Corrections Clubs students learned about the very scary issue of trafficking of youth and young adults in the Fond du Lac area, they wanted to make a difference and help educate kids, parents and guardians.
The students worked together over winter break to come up with a plan to partner with the Boys & Girls Club; the FDL Police Department; and Nancy Irizarry-Beachy, the chair of the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Consortium.
The Boys & Girls Club will host a special event on Thursday, March 16, with MPTC students presenting to middle and high school youth at 4:30 p.m. and FDL Police Detective Nick Hahn, and Officers Keywon Brown and Kristina Meilahn, along with Nancy Irizarry-Beachy presenting to parents and guardians at 6:00 p.m. At 5:30 Kiwanis Club of Fabulous Fond du Lac and Little Caesars will provide pizza. The main focus of this educational event will be Internet safety and the dangerous online activities that can lead to human trafficking. This event is free and open to the public. Please call 920-924-0530 to register.
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 Fond du Lac area and 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.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left to right: FDL Police Officer Keywon Brown, MPTC students – Rose Weed, Alaine Camargo, Jose Bustos, Alex McCleary, and Selena Gonzalez (kneeling).