Coronavirus health crisis cancels two conferences

The coronavirus health crisis has regrettably resulted in the cancellation/postponement of three important anti-trafficking conferences/trainings.

  1. The Mercy College of Health Sciences’ Research Symposium on Child Trafficking was to take place on Monday, April 6. The 200 registered participants were informed this week that the symposium will not take place but will be rescheduled at a later date yet to be determined.
  2. The Johnson County Anti-Trafficking Coalition had joined forces with the Iowa City Domestic Violence Intervention Program to host a two-day conference in Coralville, Iowa, on April 28 and 29, on human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and creating a community-wide response to support trafficking survivors. The conference has now been regrettably cancelled and will most likely be rescheduled.

Iowa NAHT Strategic Plan 2020 goals

With the start of a new year and renewed commitment to ending human trafficking in Iowa, the NAHT has written a progress report on its 2019 strategic plan goals and set 10 new goals for 2020. The full seven-page 2017-2020 strategic plan goal progress report can be found here: 2017-2020 Progress Report. One of those new goals has already been partially completed with the creation of a new Spanish language rescue sticker. The new Iowa Human Trafficking Rescue Sticker is shown below.

The ten 2020 new goals are shown below…

  1. Collaborate and coordinate with city and county regional coalitions to adopt a “Demand an End” campaign for Iowa. Proposed theme: “If there are no buyers, there is no sex trafficking.” Launch the statewide “Demand an End” campaign at the Thursday, January 14, 2021 NAHT Day on the Hill.
  2. Develop an Iowa hotel/motel employee training DVD for distribution to hotels/motels outside the training service areas of the four existing Iowa hotel/motel training projects.
  3. The NAHT will work to become more “survivor informed” by recruiting survivors to serve on an advisory panel and/or on the board and committees.
  4. Initiate interest and support for the creation of a Southern Iowa Regional Coalition Against Trafficking. This remains the only part of Iowa without local city or county regional coalitions.
  5. Complete a major update to the NAHT website resource directory by April 1, 2020.
  6. Develop a new section of the NAHT Resource Directory to describe and promote the 8 existing anti-trafficking city and multi-county coalitions.
  7. Add a part-time hourly NAHT Administrative Consultant, an hourly Consulting Bookkeeper, and a consulting Legislative Advocate to the 2020 budget and fundraising plan. The Administrative Consultant will also coordinate the NAHT Speaker’s Bureau, statewide projects, and provide grant writing/fundraising. None of the three consultants will be hired until the needed funds are raised.
  8. Adopt a new NAHT vision statement.
  9. Develop and distribute 1,500 Spanish language rescue stickers and continue distribution of the English language sticker with a goal of 7,500 stickers in 2020.
  10. Research best practice and outcome-based “John Schools” that could be introduced into Iowa in 2021.

Three major statewide anti-trafficking projects

The Iowa NAHT will carry over into 2020 three statewide projects. Below are the projects and a brief 2019 progress report.

Carryover Goal 2019 Progress Report
1 Plan and initiate a major statewide training program for hotel/motel employees. The goal is to educate the hospitality industry to recognize the signs of trafficking and how to report. Partner with regional coalitions for curriculum and training model.
  • As of December 2019, over 200 hotels/motels have been trained.
  • There are 4 regional hotel/motel training projects. Two of the four are still partnering with the Nebraska Human Trafficking Coalition.
2 Plan and carry out a major statewide initiative to prevent and fight prostitution and trafficking in Iowa massage businesses. Ask coalitions and advocates to approach local city councils to adopt ordinances to regulate massage businesses.
  • As of December 2019, 21 Iowa cities have passed massage business anti-trafficking ordinances. The cities of Ames and Ankeny passed their massage ordinances in December 2019.
3 Plan and initiate a major statewide Rescue Sticker project. The stickers will display both the national and Iowa crisis call and text numbers.
  • Stickers were designed and 2,500 were distributed in January 2019.
  • Blog post and Facebook page called for volunteers to distribute stickers statewide in March and July of 2019.
  • By the end of 2019, 10,000 Rescue Stickers have been distributed.