FORT LAUDERDALE – Organizations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach have put together programs to educate and combat human trafficking, also called modern-day slavery.


Special investigators and FBI agents will speak to a crowd of about 50 residents on the subject 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 Place of Hope at the Haven Campus, 21441 Boca Rio Road, Boca Raton. Place of Hope has taken this up as a topic to discuss because it involves abused, neglected and abandoned children, organizers said in a statement. January is National Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Broward College, in partnership with Free the Slaves, will host a day-long conference titled “Human Trafficking: Exposing the Crisis, Devising Strategies and Solutions,” on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Broward College’s Bailey Hall, 3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie. The event, which is free and open to the public, will bring awareness to the magnitude of human trafficking in Florida, the United States and around the world, while promoting discussion on effective responses and encouraging participants to join the movement to end modern slavery.

EXPOSING TRAFFICKING


“This conference will educate and engage community leaders, Broward College students and faculty, law enforcement professionals, and members of the community at-large by discussing issues and increasing awareness of a problem that is rampant in Florida, the United States, and around the world,” said Gregory A. Haile, general counsel and vice president for public policy and government affairs for Broward College. “We are pleased to be partnering with Free the Slaves in an effort to put an end to human trafficking, and we encourage everyone to attend so they can not only learn of the problem, but learn how to identify it and solve it.”

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice defines human trafficking as modern-day slavery through forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude, forced marriage and commercial sexual exploitation. National statistics rank Florida as the third most popular human trafficking destination in the country. Half of all victims are children.

Speakers attending the event include U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (by video); Maurice Middleberg, executive director, Free the Slaves; Sara Gilmer, U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; Guerda Constant, director, Fondasyon Limye Lavi, Haiti; Detective Nick Masters, Strategic Investigations Division, Broward County Sheriff’s Office; and many others.

Topics of discussion will focus on state and local law enforcement issues, the scope of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the role of multinational businesses in the effort to remove slavery from product supply chains.           

“Modern-day slavery is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time, but it is an evil we can overcome if governments, corporations, academic institutions and members of the public all get involved. The Broward College conference will help people learn what they can do to bring human trafficking to end,” said Free the Slaves Executive Director Maurice Middleberg. Registration is required to attend the event. For other information visit endtraffickingsymposiumfl.eventbrite.com


ROLLING STRIKE


One Billion Rising for Justice Miami is challenging students, community leaders, celebrities and survivors to a day of action against human trafficking.

On Friday, Feb. 14, from 4 -7 p.m. the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College (MDC) will host the One Billion Rising campaign to end human trafficking and the abuse of women worldwide. The campaign began as a call to action based on the staggering United Nations statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

Last Valentine’s Day, some 2,000 men, women and children joined together at Miami Beach’s Soundscape Park as part of wider world population demanding the end to injustices women suffer.

On this date, motorists, bikers, cyclists and walkers will participate in a rolling strike on the streets surrounding the campus and will then gather on the campus’ Kyriakides Plaza for a web strike, music and inspiring words from experts and survivors, according to a statement from organizers.