MISSOULA – The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana, in conjunction with local law enforcement and community organizers, will host a one-day workshop on June 5 titled “Freedom in Montana: Fighting Human Trafficking at Home.”
Designed for community leaders, local officials and concerned citizens, the workshop will focus on ways to recognize human trafficking, law enforcement responses to trafficking in Montana, and how communities can start local human trafficking task forces. The event is a follow-up to the 2014 Mansfield Conference, “Fight for Hope & Freedom: Human Trafficking, Montana and the World,” which was held at UM in April.
Human trafficking, a $32 billion annual industry worldwide, happens in Montana and across the United States. An estimated 300,000 children are at risk for sex trafficking every year, and the average age of girls forced into the sex trade is between 12 and 14. An unknown number of people are enslaved for forced labor. The Attorney General’s Office, local law enforcement and community organizations are working to increase Montana’s investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes and aid to victims. The “Freedom in Montana” workshop will teach community members how they can help.
The workshop will be held in University Center Rooms 330-331. The schedule follows.
- 10 a.m.-noon: “Human Trafficking in Montana: What to Look For” with Katharina Werner of the YWCA Missoula.
- 12:45-2:45 p.m. “Law Enforcement Response to Trafficking in Montana” with Guy Baker of the FBI's Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force.
- 3-4 pm. “Legal Statutes – TVPA and Montana Law.” Speakers to be announced.
- 4:15-5 p.m. “How to Start a Local Task Force” with members of the Missoula Task Force.
- 5-6 pm. Social hour.
The workshop is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information or to register, visit http://www.umt.edu/mansfield/events/conference/workshop.
The Mansfield Center at UM promotes better understanding of Asia, U.S. relations with Asia, and ethics in public affairs in the spirit of former U.S. Sen. and Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield and his wife, Maureen. The center houses programs that focus on the peoples and cultures of modern Asia and ethics in public affairs, the core interests and hallmarks of Mansfield’s career.