Human Trafficking Awareness
Over the past three years, the International Institute of Buffalo has worked with more than 200 foreign-born victims of human trafficking in Western New York.
While it may not get much attention in the news, the issue of human trafficking is obviously prominent in the area. To bring attention to the issue, students in politics and media 361 recently organized a discussion panel and film showing.
On Nov. 9, the film “Taken” was shown. A panel was held on Nov. 10. On the panel were professor of political science Dr. Chris Lee, Elizabeth McIntyre from IIB, and Patricia Calleri from
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement of Homeland Security.
All three panelists said the purpose of the event was to raise awareness about the issue. McIntyre assures that the IIB welcomes volunteers, who could find more information at www.IIBuff.org.
She also stated “The goal of these presentations is to get more eyes and ears out there: looking, thinking, aware of trafficking.”
She said there are usually noticeable signs of labor trafficking, such as: security guards at restaurants, bars on windows to keep people in, workers without identification. People could call these tips into the IIB or police.
Lee talked about human rights violations on a global scale. Calleri discussed the legal process of aiding victims and the long and difficult process of prosecuting traffickers.
Calleri stated, “Law enforcement could not function without non-governmental organizations” like the IIB.
McIntyre said people could help prevent trafficking by looking out for signs. Both encouraged people to spread awareness about human trafficking in the area.