Governor Dave Heineman signed the Proclamation observing January 2014 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Today, Governor Dave Heineman signed the Proclamation observing January 2014 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, with Senator Amanda McGill speaking about the reality of human trafficking in Nebraska and action being done to address the issue and help victims become survivors.

In the photo are (from left to right): Latino American Commission Director Spindola, Mary Ann Losh from the Dept. of Education, Latino American Commission PIO Jasel Cantu, Debbie Bordovsky, Human Trafficking Community Task Force Member, Al Riskowski from Nebraska Family Alliance, Governor Heineman, , Niki Behmer from Sen. Nordquist’s office, Rachel Davis and Pebbles Jacobo from Free The People Movement, and Sen. McGill.

The Proclamation says:

WHEREAS, Human Trafficking is modern day slavery that is a violation of a person’s rights and dignity through the trade of human beings in sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and other forms of slavery and trafficking; and

WHEREAS, Human Trafficking became a federal crime when the United States Congress passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, which in 2013 has been renewed as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act; and

WHEREAS, Human Trafficking occurs when an adult, child, or infant is forcibly recruited, harbored, or transported for the purpose of forced exploitation, commercialized sexual exploitation, slavery, illicit adoption, removal of organs, and forced labor or services; and

WHEREAS, the Human Trafficking victim is treated in this manner for personal or monetary gain through involuntary servitude, fraud, coercion, debt bondage, physical and mental abuse, kidnapping, or death; and

WHEREAS, while the exact scope of Human Trafficking remains unknown, it is estimated that as many as 27 million people are affected worldwide, including an estimated two million children. The targets are both United States citizens and foreign nationals, who are chosen for their vulnerability in society; and

WHEREAS, the existence of Interstate 80 and internet advertising makes the State of Nebraska vulnerable to Human Trafficking. Law enforcement has increased efforts to investigate, prosecute, and help curb Human Trafficking in Nebraska; and

WHEREAS, Legislation has been passed in Nebraska to raise awareness, education, prevention and protection for all residents, thereby declaring that the State of Nebraska does not support this crime in any form and will continue the fight to end Human Trafficking; and

NOW THEREFORE, I, Dave Heineman, Governor of the State of Nebraska, do hereby observe the month of January 2014 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Nebraska. I do hereby urge all Nebraskans to increase their education on Human Trafficking, and protect one another by recognizing potential trafficking activity and victims and to report all suspicious activity to law enforcement.

The Latino American Commission will organize the Human Trafficking Proclamation to be signed again in 2015.

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