Major upcoming Anti-Trafficking events, training, and reports

  1. Proclamation signing for slavery and human trafficking prevention and awareness month
    Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Iowans used to think of slavery as a barbaric practice of the past but more of us are now realizing that the practice of enslaving human beings as property still exist in our country and in our state. Globally, there are more people living as slaves right now than at any other time in all of human history. Human trafficking is a more softened modern way of defining what “slavery” is today.The United States is one of the only countries that utilizes the title “human trafficking” and most other countries only use the term “slavery.” Trafficked persons are slaves. These are people living as forced laborers, forced prostitutes, child soldiers, and child brides in forced marriages. In all ways that matter, they are treated pieces of property, and chattel in the servitude of absolute ownership and control by others.The Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery has long advocated for Iowans to learn that this evil crime is an everyday occurrence in our own state. Declaring January as Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month has served as a springboard for building public awareness. Last year was the first year that Iowa’s governor signed a Statewide Proclamation. On Wednesday, January 17th at 10:30 a.m., Governor Kim Reynolds will be signing the 2018 Proclamation.This is a final reminder that all anti human trafficking advocates are invited to be present for this Proclamation signing to take place in the governor’s formal office at the Iowa State Capitol Building. The signing will be immediately followed by the presentation of Outstanding Anti-Human-Trafficking Service Awards. The public is invited to attend not only the proclamation signing but also the NAHT board of directors meeting to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. January 17, 2018, in Senate room 116 of the State Capitol Building.

    There will be several presentations of great interest during the NAHT board meeting including reports from three state agencies including the Department of Public Safety’s Office to Combat Human Trafficking, the Attorney General’s Office Division of Victim Services, and the DOT and Truckers Against Trafficking.One final reminder to all anti-trafficking advocates is to approach your local city council or Board of Supervisors to declare a week within January as your local observance. A copy of an example one-week proclamation that you could adopt for local use is found at the following link:  Proclamation Example (PDF).

    Take a photo at your local proclamation signing and ask for publication in your local newspaper. What a great way to create public awareness and recognition of this growing problem across Iowa and within your own home community. Please send us a copy of your photo and your local proclamation and it may be featured here in this network blog post. Send your photo or proclamation to Below is a photo and example of a caption for the newspaper that took place in Story County, Iowa.


    The Ames City Council approved, and Mayor John Haila signed, a proclamation declaring January as Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month. This was the first proclamation to be presented by newly elected mayor Haila. Following the reading of the proclamation, the mayor presented the proclamation to George Belitsos, shown holding the proclamation next to Mayor Haila. Belitsos is chair of the statewide Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking. Others present for the proclamation signing include Jan and George Beran, representing Protecting Our Children, and representatives of Access including Virginia Greisheimer and Marcy Webb. The proclamation called on the citizens of Ames to become more familiar with the signs of human trafficking and to report suspicious activity to law enforcement and the National Human Trafficking hotline at 888-373-7888.

  2. Human Trafficking Issue Review completed by the Iowa Legislative Services Agency
    Click here to link to the report.
  3. Statewide human trafficking study completed by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office
    The Attorney General’s office released a major Statewide needs study on January 13, 2018. This 139-page report can be accessed here through the following link:
  4. Statewide Human Trafficking Summit to be held on April 18th and 19th, please register soonThe attorney general’s Crime Victim Assistance Division and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Office to Combat Human Trafficking will jointly conduct a first-of-its kind statewide human trafficking training conference in April. The Iowa Human Trafficking Summit will focus on increasing awareness and understanding of all forms of trafficking, best practices for serving trafficking survivors, and multidisciplinary response coordination. The conference, scheduled April 18-19 in Altoona, is geared toward law enforcement, prosecutors, victim service advocates, medical professionals and social workers. The NAHT encourages all anti-trafficking volunteers, allies, educators, and coalition members to also register and attend this summit. For more information and to register, click below.
  5. Please click to sign this petition to stop Google, Facebook and Microsoft from advertising Backpage, which is used by sex traffickers
  6. Human Trafficking event on January 18th
    Given your interest and commitment to increase awareness and eradicate human trafficking in Iowa, you, your colleagues and peers are cordially invited to a Community Event being held next Thurs., Jan. 18th, at Plymouth Church in Des Moines. Our speakers are Terry Fortili from Breaking Free in St. Paul and a woman from Iowa who was trafficked at age 11. The event is free and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about human trafficking, raising awareness and eradicating this heinous crime. Please click here for additional details.
    Please share the invitation with anyone you think might be interested. For more information, contact Shirlee Reding at We hope to see you on Jan. 18th