THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10, 7PM RIDGEWOOD COMMUNITY CENTER, VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVE.
Suburban communities like Ridgewood are not immune to the problems of human slavery and trafficking, which have reached crisis proportions all over the world.
Kate Keisel, Director of the NJ Polaris Project, founded 10 years ago, the only national grassroots organization which provides networking in order to identify and stop this problem will be our speaker. She will explain the problems as well as the role of communities.
In the 10 years since it was founded, Polaris has trained police and other law enforcement agencies and educated community leaders. In 2005 it became the only organization devoted solely to combating all forms of human trafficking in New Jersey. That same year, Congress passed laws to create programs to aid trafficking victims, to give transitional housing and support, to work to strengthen state laws. Polaris initiated a 24 hour hotline. As of 2011, over 450,000 calls have resulted in rescuing at least 5,500 victims, and identifying trafficking networks.
Last year, Polaris lobbied to help pass 18 new state laws to strengthen protections for victims. You may remember that it was Polaris who was responsible for removing online (esp. Craigslist) and print want ads which were used to advertise victims forced into the commercial sex industry. The Department of Defense has established its own network to alert civilian and military members.
It is sad to say one of the increased sites for trafficking of young men and women in the U.S. is the Super Bowl. Because New Jersey is hosting the Super Bowl in 2014, it is imperative that as many people as possible are aware of this problem.
We are proud that New Jersey is listed in Polaris’ annual ratings as a top state in fighting trafficking, with excellent law enforcement cooperation, but as much information as possible should be disseminated.
We are inviting all neighboring community leaders, law enforcement officials and, of course, all residents to hear this presentation.