Proclamation Signing on the Hill and NAHT Strategic Plan Progress

Wednesday, January 17th, 10:30am Proclamation Signing declaring Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month

Holiday greetings to Iowa NAHT blog subscribers. Worldwide there are at least 40 million people trafficked and enslaved. One in four of these exploited and abused souls are under age 18. According to the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, issued by the US State Department, the number of victims assisted in 2016 was a mere 66,500 down from 77,823 the year before. This represents only 0.16% of the total number of people estimated to be enslaved and trafficked worldwide. Obviously, we anti-trafficking advocates have a huge challenge ahead of us.

So how can you as an individual help in the fight against human trafficking and slavery? As a first step, you can educate yourself about modern-day slavery and help others to become aware of the problem. You can insist that businesses check their supply chains for slavery produced goods. This is an especially good time to do this with holiday shopping reaching a peak this week. You can donate funds to anti-trafficking organizations such as the Iowa NAHT. If you have not responded to our annual fundraising appeal now would be a very good time to show your support. Please go to https://iowanaht.org/donate-now/.

You can also urge your political representatives to promote and/or strengthen anti-trafficking laws. Anti-trafficking Day on the Hill will soon be upon us and will provide you with a great opportunity to join forces with the NAHT board and other allies from across Iowa.

Gov. Reynolds and Dr. George BellitsosWe invite you to join us on Wednesday, January 17th at 10:30 a.m. in the Rotunda of the State Capitol Building in Des Moines for the public signing of a proclamation by Governor Kim Reynolds designating January as Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month.

Speakers will also address progress made in the fight to end trafficking in Iowa. Outstanding Service Awards will be presented. Following this kickoff event, anti-trafficking advocates from across Iowa, like you, will be speaking to their local legislators. Teens Against Human Trafficking will be joining us for this special January 17th Day on the Hill.

Please plan to join us and help us to spread the word in order to get as many advocates to attend on January 17th as possible.

iowa-state-capitolAfter the holidays, we will be sending you a January 17th flyer with more details. In addition, we will provide an example proclamation for you. We ask you to present it to your local city council or Board of Supervisors and request that they sign it. The local proclamation signing should take place at a public meeting. Take a photo with the local government group and have it published in your local newspaper. This will provide you with a great opportunity to build human trafficking awareness in your area.

2017-18 strategic plan and NAHT progress on goals

This is the time of year when the Iowa NAHT board reports its 2017 progress along with proposed goals for 2018. As you can see in the 2017-18 Strategic Plan Goals and Progress Report (PDF) most of the Network’s 2017 goals are being carried over to 2018 or will be repeated and expanded in the year ahead. Most notably, we are just out of the starting block for the statewide Hotel-Motel Employee Training project. Nearly 40 hotels have now been trained and there are hundreds more hotels to be trained in 2018.

In collaboration with the Nebraska Coalition, we have trained almost 100 volunteers who are providing training to hotels/motels in both Central Iowa and East Central Iowa. Western and Eastern Iowa will launch similar projects in 2018 and you will hear more about this via this blog post. For those of you who live in central Iowa and who wish to join the hotel/motel volunteer training force, a second training of trainers will take place on Thursday, March 8th from 6 to 9 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines. To register to participate in the hotel/motel training of trainers, contact Shirley Redding, project chair at shirlee5@q.com.

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