Monday, January 27, 2020

Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking

Mesa County Commissioners present the proclamation to Melissa Jefferson and Denise and Gilbert Rodriquez with the Western Slope Anti-Trafficking Alliance.

In public hearing this morning, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners devoted time to raising awareness of the signs and consequences of human trafficking by promoting opposition to human trafficking in all forms and encouraging support for the survivors.

On Feb. 1, 1865, Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Officially outlawing slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, a practice that is in direct opposition to the fundamental principles of liberty and human rights upon which our nation was founded.

Western Slope Anti-Trafficking (W.S.A.T) is a community initiative seeking to address the struggles in combating human trafficking. It is made up of concerned citizens, civic organizations, community leaders, churches, schools, healthcare providers, police officers, and professionals working with marginalized and vulnerable populations susceptible to exploitation. Members of W.S.A.T. are committed to protecting human rights and individual freedom by eliminating human trafficking; to take effective action to protect all residents in our community by vigorously investigating and prosecuting the exploiters, and to ensure victims have a safe and nurturing environment allowing them to thrive.

Mesa County recognizes that Colorado is a prime location for human trafficking, is known as a victim source state, and is a destination state with a high demand for human trafficking.

Mesa County Commissioners present a proclamation raising awareness of human trafficking to the Western Slope Anti-Trafficking Alliance on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.

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