On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Clovis City Council presented a proclamation declaring January 2021 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Councilmember Vong Mouanoutoua read the proclamation which stated there were approximately 1,300 human trafficking victims from our local communities.
The proclamation also stated that globally there are an estimated 40.3 million people in modern day slavery of which one out of every four are children.
The proclamation recognizes the need for greater awareness and accountability in regards to slavery and human trafficking.
The Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission Sanctuary and Support Services was in attendance to receive the proclamation. Sanctuary and Support Services director Misty Gattie-Blanco was present with Central Valley Against Human Trafficking (CVAHT) manager Amber Secundino.
Secundino mentioned January is the month to raise awareness and keep individuals out of trafficking situations. Secundino also said that it serves as a way of celebrating the stories of those who have survived such situations and are now thriving despite their trauma.
“It is through these stories that we want to celebrate resilience, hope, and community,” Secundino said. “We are thankful for your support and look forward to continuing this over the years to come.”
Mayor Drew Bessinger thanked them for their dedication and the work they do, he also mentioned that every public transportation in Clovis is a safe place for anyone in a human trafficking or slavery situation.
Councilmember Lynne Ashbeck commented she wished their work was not needed. However, she appreciates the work they do for the community.
“There are a few things in this universe that I’m sorry we have to have, but I’m glad we do and the work you do is one of those things,” Ashbeck said. “Someday it will be nice to live in a world where this wasn’t an issue…thank you for your hard work and we’re grateful for all that you all do.”