January 2016: Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month Events
In December 2015, President Barack Obama proclaimed January 2016 as “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month,” and called to rededicate ourselves to assisting victims of human trafficking and to combating it in all its forms.
In January 2016, the Governor of Guam and the Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) proclaimed the month of January as “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month,” and the CNMI Senate presented a legislative resolution -- all calling for the protection of human rights and encouraging our community to be vigilant, and compassionate to victims and their families.
The Guam HTTF and NMI HTIC organized and held events during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month: a proclamation signing in Guam and Saipan, NMI; a community wave by Skinner Plaza in Hagatna, the capital of Guam; and a human trafficking awareness workshop for employees at the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services; and outreaches held at high schools in Saipan, NMI.
In March 2016, U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco and members of the Guam Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF) and the NMI Human Trafficking Intervention Coalition (HTIC) attended the 13th Hawaii International Summit: Preventing Assessing & Treating Trauma Across the Lifespan, where U.S. Attorney Limtiaco was a speaker and facilitator at the Human Trafficking Track Pre-Summit 2016 Pacific Train the Trainer Course. The goal of the course was to support the creation of a network of professionals in the Pacific region working to build peace within our communities. This course will be used to establish a Pacific Speakers Bureau for a range of justice, human rights and other topics relevant to Pacific Island peoples.
In April 2016, U.S. Attorney Limtiaco was invited to American Samoa to participate in a series of meetings with the American Samoa Human Trafficking Task Force, Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG), American Samoa Pacific Women Indigenous Network (PacWIN), American Samoa Attorney General’s Office, American Samoa Department of Homeland Security, American Samoa Department of Health and Human Services, American Samoa Domestic Violence Shelter, and American Samoa Legal Services. She also conducted trainings with the American Samoa Attorney General’s Office, the American Samoa Legal Services, and the principals of the American Samoa School System.
In May 2016, U.S. Attorney Limtiaco was a keynote speaker at the 2016 kNOw MORE Conference, Celebrating Diversity in Micronesia: Empowering and Developing Communities Together, held at the Westin Hotel in Tumon, Guam.
U.S. Attorney Limtiaco spoke on the topic of “Preventing Human Trafficking in the Pacific Region,” and shared information on the Pacific Regional Response to Combat Human Trafficking initiative, which is a collaborative effort among the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Districts of Guam and the NMI, the U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Guam HTTF, the NMI HTIC, and other community partners. U.S. Attorney Limtiaco also discussed the intersection and relationship between human trafficking, sexual assault, child abuse and domestic and family violence, and prevention and enforcement efforts in the Pacific region.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in collaboration with federal and local partners, Guam HTTF and NMI HTIC, continue to work collaboratively on the Pacific Regional Response to Combat Human Trafficking initiative. The Pacific Regional Response to Combat Human Trafficking initiative employs a multidisciplinary model, including participation, coordination, and collaboration among law enforcement; prosecution; victim service providers; social services; medical, mental and public health professionals; faith based organizations; educational institutions; Consulates; and other community stakeholders. The response calls for the establishment and provision of victim services, investigation and prosecution of human trafficking, training opportunities, community outreach/ public awareness and prevention programs, and creation of human trafficking task forces and coalitions in the Pacific region island communities. Providing fundamental training in human trafficking, including victimization, investigation and prosecution, prevention efforts, and other related topics, to law enforcement; prosecution; victim service providers; social services; medical, mental and public health professionals; faith based organizations; educational institutions; Consulates; and other community stakeholders, in our Pacific region island communities, is critical to effective prevention and enforcement efforts in the region.
The Guam HTTF and the CNMI HTIC, and other community partners, continue to respond to the needs of human trafficking victims and their families, and to hold offenders accountable.
Photos taken at the various events.