Anti-Human-Trafficking News

There is a lot of activity and progress being made across Iowa. Today’s blog post is only a snippet of activity and there is much more underway. Here is a table of contents.

  1. Hotel/Motel Project Volunteer Training Opportunities
  2. Iowa Man gets life for trafficking children
  3. Anti-labor traffic holiday shopping
  4. City councils in Sioux City and Altoona hold hearings on massage business ordinances.
  5. Report from Siouxland Coalition
  6. 2018 Iowa Human Trafficking Summit
  7. 200 attend full day anti-trafficking trainings
  8. Under pressure, tech companies back anti-trafficking bill
  9. Teens Against Human Trafficking hold fall leadership summit
  10. Iowa NAHT display booth

Hotel/Motel Project Volunteer Training Opportunities

Anti Human Trafficking Hotel/Motel TrainingThus far, trained volunteers have completed Hotel/Motel Employee Trainings at 22 hotels and motels. There are nearly 80 hotels on the schedule to be trained in the next 2 months. There are two “training of trainers” sessions scheduled. Read more on our calendar:

Once you are trained, volunteers in the Hotel/Motel Project must be willing to conduct training in a minimum of at least three hotels/motels. Volunteer trainers are sent out in two-person teams in order to conduct the training. Eastern and western Iowa training dates and locations will be announced early next year.

Iowa Man gets life for trafficking children

This November 20th Des Moines Register article demonstrates the strong connection between drug trafficking and teen sex trafficking here in Iowa. Kudos to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Anti-labor traffic holiday shopping

Here is a link to a buying guide operated by End Slavery Now. As holiday shopping begins, we urge our NAHT Blog subscribers to make sure that you do not purchase items that were created by slave or child labor.

City councils in Sioux City and Altoona hold hearings on massage business ordinances

These two links are to newspaper articles showing that show progress is being made. The Iowa NAHT has put out a “call to action” for local coalitions and anti-trafficking allies to approach their local city councils to adopt massage ordinances similar to that of the City of Johnston, Iowa.

Report from Siouxland Coalition

The Siouxland Coalition Against Human Trafficking reports that they had a really good human trafficking training in Onawa last month. 103 people attended. There was a good representation of people from law enforcement, judicial services, social services and other professions, as well as interested citizens.

In other news, the ELCA clergy of Sioux City designated SCAHT as the recipient of a fundraiser on November 12th at Buffalo Alice’s from 4 to 8 p.m. After wages were set aside, one half of the profits and all the tips went to SCAHT. They hope many of you were able to attend.

The Siouxland Coalition is preparing now for the January 2018 Declaration of Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month. They are already lining up many local governments to issue a proclamation, and have already scheduled a proclamation reading at the Sioux City City Council and the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors.

If you live in Western Iowa and have any interest in becoming a member of the Siouxland Coalition Against Human Trafficking, they would like to hear from you. Also the coalition is recruiting new board members and if any of our blog post subscribers would like to join, please contact Bernadette Rixner at the following email address:

2018 Iowa Human Trafficking Summit

This is a major training opportunity that we ask that you place on your 2018 calendar.


We will post additional details as they become available.

200 attend full day anti-trafficking trainings

Freedom in Action II, an anti-trafficking training hosted by Teens Against Human Trafficking, a program of YSS, took place on Monday, October 30th at Cornerstone Church in Ames. Over 200 professionals and concerned citizens from a variety of fields traveled to Ames to learn from esteemed anti-trafficking professionals. The diverse audience included law enforcement, human services professionals, healthcare workers, educators, and community members.



Luis CdeBaca (center) is shown with the Ames chapter of Teens Against Human Trafficking.

Luis CdeBaca, former US Ambassador to Combat Trafficking in Persons, kicked off the conference as the keynote speaker. Other speakers included Mike Ferjak, Jana Rhoads, Ruth Buckels, Mike Staebell, Joy Fopma, and Shannon Schott. Presenters shared critical information regarding the history of slavery and human trafficking, sex trafficking in Iowa, the DHS response, how to support survivors, labor trafficking in Iowa, and what leaving “the life” looks like for many sex trafficking survivors. Attendees were engaged and empowered to continue the conversation and take action in their own communities, workplaces, and families.

To learn more about the conference, watch WHO’s news story on the event:

Under pressure, tech companies back anti-trafficking bill

Teens Against Human Trafficking hold fall leadership summit

Teens Against Human Trafficking (TAHT) recently hosted its first Fall Leadership Summit for students involved with TAHT clubs across the state of Iowa. They had 70 attendees representing 9 different schools from across Iowa, and it was a great success! Students had a chance to hear a survivor share her story; participate in breakout sessions covering topics like social media, legislation, and ending the demand; learn from student leaders, and plan projects for the year with their clubs!

TAHT plans to offer this event annually, and anticipates that they will grow each year as more clubs start up around the state and look forward to this fall event. It was tremendously exciting to watch young anti-trafficking leaders get fired up about making a difference in their own communities, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish this school year!

Iowa NAHT display booth

The Network display booth has started to make its way to conferences. Recently, Network Board member, Shirlee Reding, spent 2 days staffing the booth at the annual Iowa Nurse Practitioner Society Conference. Here is her report:

inps-naht-boothApproximately 200 nurse practitioners stopped by the booth. I asked as many as I could where they practiced and I would say 40% of them practice in rural NW Iowa. I pushed our handouts regarding the medical exam, what to look for, etc. and the NAHT brochure. Quite a few practice in Sioux City area so I gave out quite a few of the brochures from the Siouxland Coalition Against Trafficking.

Everyone seemed to recognize that trafficking is a big problem but didn’t seem to know much about it. Several said they had an in-service recently discussing it so they knew it was a big problem even in Iowa. Most everyone used the word “scary” to describe it. Several mentioned that they suspected that had treated a victim in the medical office but had not reported their suspicions.

One conference attendee I talked to said her daughter was trafficked just recently. Fortunately they found her via Facebook and rescued her. They have her at home now. Mom described her as emotionally distraught and an “emotional wreck”. She said it was so hard to talk about the situation and started to break down.

I spoke to several attendees from southern Iowa and mentioned we’d like to make some contacts in that area. One woman said that her clinic has a safe house attached to their clinic. It’s called the Family Crisis Center in Sioux Center. It apparently started as a domestic abuse shelter but now take in HT survivors.

Everyone said how glad they were that we were there so I felt we got a real positive response. By the way, I think our display trifold is really attractive and set our booth apart.