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Alabama Human Trafficking Summit will be Feb. 8

Brandon Moseley

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The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force is hosting the Alabama Human Trafficking Summit on Friday, February 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. This year’s event is in Montgomery at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel and Conference Center at 300 Tallapoosa Street in Montgomery.

The cost to attend the daylong event is $75 and includes lunch, a continental breakfast buffet, and afternoon snack. The event is open to the public. CLE, CEU, and APOST credits are available at no additional charge.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry worldwide. The trafficking of slave labor and of people, especially children, to work in the sex trade is a growing problem, including even here in Alabama. This is the second largest criminal enterprise trailing only the trade in illegal drugs. The industry has surpassed the illegal weapons trade.

Human trafficking is estimated to be a $32 billion industry annually. Some estimates are as high as $150 billion per year. Unlike drugs and arms dealing, traffickers can continue to exploit their victims because human beings can be sold over and over again.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 defines human trafficking as labor trafficking and sex trafficking. Traffickers gain complete control of their victims through coercion, force, or fraud. Although both types of trafficking occur in the United States, sex trafficking is much more common.

While street prostitution is still common throughout the United States, the internet has made it much easier for pimps to connect with consumers. The average age of entry into sex trafficking as a victim is 11 to 14 years of age and exploitation can continue for years. There are also many adult victims.

While most victims of sex trafficking are girls, males also can be victims.

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The keynote speaker will be Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman. At age 14, he was kidnapped in Honduras and smuggled into the United States by human traffickers. He was locked in a windowless room, beaten and plied with drugs, and raped 197 times before the police raided the house where he was being held hostage. Suamhirs was detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and placed into countless foster and group homes where he experienced bullying, discrimination and further trauma.

”Everyone failed to ask me a simple question: what do you need?” sid Suamhirs.

He is now 28 and is a naturalized U.S. citizen and a licensed behavioral psychologist working with the \International Rescue Committee’s human trafficking response program in Washington state.

Other presenters and speakers include: Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R); State Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile); Daniel Chapman – Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor; Pat McCay – Chair, Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force; Alabama Assistant Attorney General Audrey Jordan; Assistant U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Alabama Leann White; Homeland Security Special Agent Robert Fisher; Project Director, AL Uniform Integrated Human Trafficking Initiative Chris Lim; and many more.

Tuesday, February 5 is the deadline to register for the Summit. To find more information or to register online or through mail-in registration go to:
www.enditalabama.org.

The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force was established in 2014 and meets once a quarter at the Alabama State House. Meetings are open to the public.

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