Item Coversheet

Board Action Request

Item Description:
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month - offered by Commissioner Greene

WHEREAS, the United Nations International Labor Organization estimated in 2016 that more than 1 million children worldwide were victims of commercial sexual exploitation; and


WHEREAS, too many of Minnesota’s young people have experienced childhood physical and sexual abuse, neglect, traumatic loss and violence that put them at risk for exploitation and abuse; and


WHEREAS, human trafficking devastates young people across the socioeconomic, ethnic and geographic spectrum, but seems to have a disproportionate impact on youth of color, Native American youth, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, as well as those who are experiencing homelessness or who live in poverty; and


WHEREAS, the No Wrong Door and Safe Harbor initiatives guide Hennepin County as an organization to work on the principle that survivors of exploitation are victims not criminals, and that every young person deserves to seek a life of safety and security; and


WHEREAS, many of these at-risk youth are known to Hennepin County, through human services, child protection, public health and law enforcement, and we recognize many rich opportunities across every line of business to intervene with, divert and empower young people to create healthier and better lives for themselves; and


WHEREAS, during 2017, Hennepin County staff in child welfare served 64 young people, ages 11 to 17 who either had experienced or were at risk for sexual exploitation or sex trafficking, and connected them with housing, mental health resources, diversion opportunities and social services; and


WHEREAS, protecting our most vulnerable residents is a core function of Hennepin County government; and


WHEREAS, January is recognized nationally as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time to take stock of the good work Hennepin County is doing in this area, and resolve anew to keep on fighting for our young people,


BE IT RESOLVED, that the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners hereby proclaims January 2019, as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, to recommit to our promise to protect the young people in our community and help to create a better future.