Central Lakes Rotary seeks to raise awareness of human trafficking
The Rotary club has a mission to end human trafficking in the area
CROW WING COUNTY — Human trafficking impacts every community, and January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Human trafficking is the unlawful use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or sexual act. Adults and children can be trafficked or enslaved and forced to sell their bodies for sex or forced labor.
Anyone can be a victim and it does happen in this rural area.
In the United States, 2 million to 4 million victims are being trafficked; 75% are exploited for sex. Almost half are children, and most are women and girls.
Victims come from all demographics and include boys and girls. Human trafficking is the second largest crime in the world, second only to drug trafficking.
The Central Lakes Rotary Club, as well as the other rotary clubs in the area, has a mission to end human trafficking in this area. To end human trafficking, we must prevent it before it happens. To that end, Rotary’s initiative focuses on:
- Raising awareness.
- Educating children, youth and families.
- Reducing risk factors that make children vulnerable.
- Stopping the demand.
It takes one voice to recognize and prevent human trafficking. Learn to identify risk factors and be the voice that helps stop trafficking. Indicators of someone who needs your help:
- Fearful, timid or submissive.
- Disconnected from family friends, community or houses of worship.
- A child that has stopped attending school.
- Dramatic change in behavior.
- Bruises in various stages of healing.
- Disoriented, confused or showing signs of mental or physical abuse.
- Lacking personal possessions and appears not to have stable living conditions.
- Appearing to be coached in what to say.
- Accompanied by a controlling person.
Those trying to help should not try to intervene, but instead write down descriptions of people involved, along with cars and license plates. Contact the police or call 911, contact the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BEFORE to 233733. The MN Crisis Hotline is 1-866-223-1111.
Central Lakes Rotary is dedicated to helping prevent human trafficking in the area. They will host a Rotary Ends Human Trafficking Music and Camping Festival on July 28-29 at the Lakes Music & Events Park in Pine River where people can come and learn about ways to help prevent trafficking and keep families safe while enjoying music and camping.
Bands and speakers will be announced soon. For more information or to help, go to rehtmusicfestival.com or call 218-833-2562.