Educating the public about human trafficking in the U.P.

Educating the public about human trafficking in the U.P.

MARQUETTE — The Director of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force has been in the Upper Peninsula since Monday.

Jane White been discussing the realities of human trafficking in the state and right here in the U.P.

Human trafficking isn’t as prevalent in the U.P. as it is in other parts of the state, but that doesn’t mean people here should turn a blind eye to it. High instances of selling illegal drugs or guns, high poverty rates, and agriculture are some signs that human trafficking could be in an area.

“That’s one of the purposes of your regional task force in this area, is to bring awareness to the community on the kinds of things we really do see all the time, but we ignore them or don’t understand that there may be kinds of things that are unusual…that we don’t have the kinds of opportunities for people.  There’s all kinds of conditions,” White said.  “Awareness is the key in terms of identifying human trafficking.”

The Women’s Center and Harbor House is working with White to help create a strong response team to help human trafficking victims and to keep the public informed.

“I think it shows a lot about our community that they’re willing to come out and be educated so that we can all be part of that conversation,” Harbor House youth advocate Amy Kordus said.  “It’s going to take more than one person or one agency to create a solution to this problem, so the more community participation we have, the better.”

For more information on human trafficking, you can visit the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force’s website or Facebook page, or by contacting the Women’s Center/Harbor House at (906) 225-1346 or visiting its website.