BSO Hosts Human Trafficking Awareness Event

January 27, 2009


In an effort to raise awareness about human trafficking among at-risk youth, BSO’s Central Broward district and the Community Justice Program hosted an educational presentation on the topic Jan. 6 for community youth and their parents.

Human trafficking involves recruiting, transporting or harboring people for the purposes of slavery, forced labor and servitude.

The program, which was held in the Public Safety Building, was created to provide education about human trafficking among at-risk youth. Some of the basic principles discussed included identifying risk factors, impacts, psycho-social needs and assisting the victims involved in sexual exploitation and violence. There were three presenters. Dr. Judith Bachay, Director of Counseling Programs at St. Thomas University, spoke about the warning signs of human trafficking, counseling aspects and available services for the victims. Miguel Figueroa, supervisory Special Agent from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), addressed the statistics of human trafficking in Florida, the process of reporting and legal procedures of ICE.  Detective Nicole Freeley of BSO’s Strategic Investigations Division discussed the dangers of Internet solicitation, cyberspace laws and policy and ways to safeguard information on popular web sites. More than 75 youths and their parents attended, along with other non-governmental organizations and human services agencies.

Pictured from left to right are Dr. Judith Bachay, LMHC, Director of Counseling Programs , St. Thomas University; Hiram Ruiz, Director of Refugee Services, Department of Children and Families; Community Justice Youth Counselor Elizabeth Mayo; Velma Xavier, Community Justice program volunteer; Community Justice Youth Counselor Anse Daniel; Kerline Gelin, Community Justice program volunteer;  Terrence Barber, Recreation Manager , City of Lauderdale Lakes; Community Justice Supervisor Jacqueline Lashbrook; Supervisory Special Agent Miguel Figueroa, Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Strategic Investigations Division Detective Nicole Freeley; Community Involvement Specialist Adriane Reesey;  and Victim Specialist Martha Mino, Immigrant Right Advocacy Center, Inc.

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