Elected Officials Recognize Human Trafficking
Over 20 elected officials in Washington State recognized National Human Trafficking Awareness Day this year through the efforts of IRC in Seattle’s anti human trafficking program, the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN). The fourth annual National Human Trafficking Awareness Day took place this year on January 11th, with fundraising and awareness events organized across the country.
In Seattle, the King County Council invited representatives from local service providers, including IRC, and the King County Prosecutor’s office to the council meeting to discuss human trafficking and the importance of public awareness. At that meeting the King County Council presented IRC staff with a proclamation recognizing January 11th. More information on the event can be found here on the King County website.
In addition to the proclamation signed by all members of the King County Council, IRC in Seattle’s anti-trafficking program and its partners procured proclamations and statements from Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles and all nine members of the Seattle City Council. These important acknowledgements will help to bring human trafficking to the forefront of the nation’s attention and engage the public in responding to this issue.
IRC in Seattle is the lead agency in a statewide coalition known as the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network, or WARN. WARN is made up of organizations across Washington State that provide services to victims of human trafficking and conduct outreach and education for service providers, community-based organizations, and victim advocacy groups. Since 2005, WARN has worked closely with crime victim service providers, medical and legal service providers, and law enforcement agencies to combat trafficking and serve victims of human trafficking in Washington State.
In honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, WARN partners organized a vigil in Spokane, Washington, paying respect to those trapped in slavery. Over one hundred community members of all ages attended the family friendly event hosted by The Women’s Hearth with support from the Inland Northwest Task Force on Human Trafficking and Soroptimist International of Spokane.
Through the continued efforts of IRC in Seattle’s anti-trafficking program and its partners, awareness and support around human trafficking will continue to grow. It is WARN’s hope that community awareness around human trafficking will empower communities to help those trapped in slavery to come forward and seek assistance.
For more information on IRC’s anti-trafficking work, visit the WARN website.
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