Is human trafficking an impossible problem?
On the heels of January (National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month), this is an important question to consider. With the long-lasting harm of human trafficking, from trauma to criminal records and other legal issues continuing to block the path for many survivors, it can sometimes seem that way.
With partners and community members, we can all work together to create and coordinate resources to change that.
“Getting the lawyer on your side as a survivor, getting the power on your side, getting resources on your side – that changes the equation.” Watch more on the KREX5 News interview with ALIGHT Executive Director Marianna Kosharovsky and other presenters at the 2019 Western Slope Anti-Trafficking Summit (here).
The Western Slope Anti-Trafficking Summit was a strong example of collaboration. Over 125 concerned citizens, health care workers, students, teachers, doctors, attorneys, police officers and others gathered to learn the tools to address this issue in their local communities. ALIGHT was honored to be invited to train the audience on survivor legal issues and how survivors can benefit from working with the attorneys in our mobilized legal network.
As we grow our innovative program, we invite interested attorneys to get in touch (contact us here) so that we can serve more survivors and more areas of Colorado.
Want to deepen your commitment to these efforts? Consider becoming a sustaining donor to support ALIGHT stability and increased financial capacity for our mission. You can make a recurring monthly contribution in any amount from $10 here.
Join us this year in fighting this big – but not impossible – problem!
In Full Light,
The ALIGHT Team
ALIGHT exists to unlock a fresh start for survivors. We ENVISION a world where every human trafficking survivor connects to a mobilized legal network to rebuild and thrive.
UPCOMING 2019 ALIGHT EVENTS
AUGUST 15-17, 2019 FAMILY LAW INSTITUTE SYMPOSIUM, VAIL, CO
MARCH 6, 2019 WOMEN POWERING CHANGE, EXDO EVENT CENTER, DENVER, CO: Join ALIGHT at this exposition featuring Mission-Driven Organizations By, For or About Women. Stop by our table (can’t miss the ALIGHT banner!) 4-7:30pm to meet our team and learn more about our work in person.
See event details and register here.
FEBRUARY 19, 2019 HUMAN TRAFFICKING PROSECUTORS SYMPOSIUM, DENVER, CO: ALIGHT is delighted to be invited to present our services to prosecutors from offices across the state. As human trafficking situations are often complex and highly sensitive – with more and more labor trafficking and economic crimes cases to investigate – better understanding and coordination to support victims and survivors through the process is vital. The symposium will address trends and will allow participants to compare notes on what law enforcement is seeing across different regions.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019 HUMAN TRAFFICKING LEGAL ISSUES TRAINING, FORT COLLINS, CO:
“We’re waking up to the fact that human trafficking is taking place everywhere. We need to connect survivors to resources. I am so grateful lawyers are invested in helping with this problem.”
Shelley Bogus, Youth & Family Program Director at The Matthews House
Located in Larimer County, The Matthews House’s mission is to empower youth and families by building trusting relationships and providing resources to disrupt the cycles of poverty of abuse. ALIGHT greatly appreciated the opportunity to train the team of professionals working in preventative and intervention services. The discussion highlighted the need to recognize and address human trafficking in the various populations served, and in particular the youth who are or have been part of the human services, foster care and/or justice system, many of whom have experienced vulnerability and generational poverty.
JANUARY 18, 2019 CRIMINAL RECORD SEALING TRAINING, HOGAN LOVELLS LAW FIRM, DENVER, CO:
“90% of trafficking survivors reported being arrested.”
The 2016 National Survivor Network Survey further revealed that more than 40% of the 130 survivors who provide us with insights about their lived experience in this survey, had in fact been arrested 9 times or more while being exploited.
The harsh reality for survivors is that criminal records resulting from these arrests continue to harm them long after the human trafficking experience.
We are grateful to all the attorneys who came out – despite a blizzard! – to this legal training on how to help human trafficking survivors (and others) seal records of convictions and expunge juvenile delinquency records so that they no longer present a barrier to gainful employment and housing. Thank you as well to our co-presenters from Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Juvenile Defender Center, Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association for working together to help address this grave injustice.
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