At the January 9, 2023 Clovis City Council meeting, a group of representatives from different organizations recognizing human trafficking was present to be awarded a plaque and proclamation declaring January as a month for awareness of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention.
One member of the group themself was once a victim of human trafficking and thanked both government officials and the Fresno Police Department for saving her from the once harrowing experience.
“On behalf of all those that we collide with, we want to thank you for everything that you guys do to acknowledge and to make sure that this doesn’t happen to another child.”
Another member of the group, Christa Wiens, Executive Director of the Central Valley Justice Coalition, stood at the podium and thanked the council for their effort to “create change, and prevent human trafficking.”
On the Central Valley Justice Coalition, Wiens described, “We are focused on education, outreach, and partnering.”
Wiens then plugged the Central Valley Justice Coalition’s website at justice.org and let it be known that anyone can take classes on their platform at the Justice Coalition as well as through Fresno Pacific University.
“Together we can not only change the culture, but we can also make a real difference in the lives of individuals before you ever hear the story.”
Mayor Lynne Ashbeck, thanked the group for their presence at the meeting, praising their work both individually and collectively, and also read the proclamation on behalf of the City of Clovis.,
“Whereas the International Labor Organization recognizes there are an estimated 50 million people in modern-day slavery globally where one in three victims are children and whereas the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates one out of six endangered runaways were likely child sex trafficking victims and whereas the U.S. Department of Labor identified 158 goods from seventy-seven countries made by forced and child labor the City of Clovis recognizes the need for greater awareness and accountability in regard to modern-day slavery.”
Amber Secundino, Program Manager for the Fresno EOC Central Valley Against Human Trafficking, recognized that every January when the Fresno EOC participates in the national recognition of Slavery and Human Trafficking, they are also “…honoring those identified individuals and survivors of human trafficking in our communities.”
January 17th marks the date of the annual Pledge to Stop Human Trafficking events and potential volunteers can register for this event at P2st.org.
Another event highlighted related to the “Pledge to Stop Trafficking” is a hosted event taking place on the corner of Shaw and Clovis avenues. More information can be found again on P2st.org.
Secundino also relayed the information about January 11th which is national “Wear Blue Day” in which National Human Trafficking Awareness is recognized each year by the initiative of getting citizens to wear the color blue in order to recognize the horrors of human trafficking and slavery.
“We are thankful for your continued support every year. This is a huge issue within our communities, and as you can see there are multiple agencies because it is really impacting our communities.”