Agencies Address Human Trafficking in Alaska
Mayor declares day of awareness
Human trafficking: It’s a major problem Anchorage police and other law enforcement here in Alaska battle. Mayor Dan Sullivan says it’s time the community at large recognizes its existence.
Mayor Sullivan has proclaimed Thursday as a day of human trafficking awareness in Anchorage.
The mayor says the people of Anchorage need to become more awake to the illegal practice of human trafficking in the state of Alaska and Wednesday he announced that Thursday the 12th will be an awareness day.
The first sex-trafficking conviction in Alaska was returned in August 2008, and law enforcement agencies say they are continuing to crack down.
The Salvation Army says 1 in 3 kids on the street will be forced into human trafficking. They say many children start working in what appears to be a safe job – but which ultimately leads to prostitution. Young job seekers are advised to go through legitimate job agencies to find work, not strangers.
Everyone involved in trying to stop human trafficking in the state says raising awareness is the key – the Salvation Army is asking people to keep your eye out for potential victims and tell authorities if you suspect something is going on.
Covenant House in Anchorage sees the problem on a regular basis with many vulnerable kids passing through their doors.
The FBI and Anchorage Police Department train staff at Covenant House to recognize kids who are at risk and what steps to take if human trafficking is suspected.
On January 21 the Salvation Army in Anchorage is showing a documentary entitled “Call and Response,” which is about human trafficking and how music can have a positive influence on the problem. If you want to know more about that, visit www.callandresponse.com.