Office of the County Commission
P R O C L A M A T I O N
HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH
In Douglas County, KS and the surrounding areas in FY 2018, there were 84 identified survivors of human trafficking and that number continues to grow as identification efforts improve. Survivors of trafficking are among the most vulnerable of individuals and we must work together to address the root causes, as well as create sustainable recovery options for those who have survived these atrocities. Survivor perspectives are important to solving the root causes and it is important to include survivors and to keep those survivor-informed perspectives in the forefront of initiatives.
Organizations who are taking the lead on human trafficking initiatives in Douglas County, KS include but are not limited to the following: Youth Trust Project (survivor-led), Lawrence Police Department, Lawrence Anti-Trafficking and Education Task Force (LATTE), The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center, and the Willow Domestic Violence Center.
WHEREAS, human trafficking, a modern form of slavery, is one of the largest and fastest-growing criminal industries in the world, and is based on recruiting, harboring, and transporting people for the purpose of exploitation; and
WHEREAS, sex trafficking and labor trafficking occur in Kansas, and both adults and children of any gender, socio-economic status, age, race, sexual orientation, or geographic location can become victimized; and
WHEREAS, human trafficking includes sexual, verbal, emotional, economic, and physical abuse and exploitation, and all forms of abuse carry long-term complex trauma implications; and
WHEREAS, Kansas human trafficking laws define commercial exploitation of children, which does not require a showing of force, fraud, threat or coercion and references the existing statutory definition of human trafficking and aggravated human trafficking; and
WHEREAS, the effects of human trafficking reach for beyond its victims and perpetrators, causing disruption in our schools, places of work, and neighborhoods; and
NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County, Kansas, proclaims the month of January 2019, as Human Trafficking Awareness Month and urges the citizens of Douglas County to speak out against sex and labor trafficking and exploitation, to support survivors of these heinous crimes, to encourage community leaders to hold offenders accountable, and to make preventable efforts a priority by hosting events, by creating policies at work, school, and home, and by supporting and participating in programs designed to reduce and eventually eliminate human trafficking as a societal problem. As a community, we will support creating and executing a comprehensive, collaborative and trauma-informed response for the safety and security of human trafficking survivors.
ADOPTED this 16th day of January, 2019.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF DOUGLAS COUNTY, KANSAS