January to be Proclaimed ‘Human Trafficking Prevention Month’ in Montgomery County

by Patrick Herron
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For Immediate Release: Monday, January 10, 2022

Human trafficking has long been an issue in Montgomery County, in Maryland, nationally and internationally. On Tuesday, Jan. 11 Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and the Montgomery County Council will proclaim January as “Human Trafficking Prevention Month” in the County.

Human trafficking often involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Traffickers often use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Victims of human trafficking include women, girls, men, and boys. Trafficking occurs internationally and nationally and impacts foreign nationals and/or U.S. citizens. Traffickers often target vulnerable individuals or groups.

On Jan. 20 a virtual two-panel program will be held to gain insights from experienced government officials on recent developments in U.S. anti-trafficking policies and programs, and important international issues in the anti-trafficking field. Speakers will include officials from the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Labor, and other agencies and organizations. Dr. Kari Johnstone, acting director of the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, will deliver a keynote. Register here.

On Jan. 25, the committee will partner with the Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force, the Homeless Persons Representation Project, and Amara Legal Center to present an online discussion entitled, “Know Your Rights: Tools for 2022.” The online presentation is free and begins at 5 p.m. No registration is needed. Join via Zoom. (Meeting ID: 839 1163 5943 Passcode: 375685)

In addition to online programming, the committee will sponsor a social media campaign throughout the month highlighting human trafficking prevention. The goal of the campaign is to educate residents about the subject, know the signs of trafficking, and seek help if needed.

In 2014 the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Task Force was created. The purpose of the task force is to increase understanding of the issue in Montgomery County and to develop interagency coordination of strategies for response and prevention. In October 2017, the task force transitioned into the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Prevention Committee.

For more information on resources available in Montgomery County, click here.

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