VISTA — The North County Anti-Human Trafficking Collaborative held its third meeting Nov. 20 at the Vista Community Service Center. Led by the Soroptimist International of Vista and the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, or BSCC, the group of law enforcement, health workers and other concerned individuals meet to combat labor and sexual trafficking.
Guest speakers covered a range of issues. Penny Harrington from Concerned Women of America offered her assistance on legislation designed to strengthen the anti-kidnapping “Meghan’s Law.”
Estela de Los Rios, director of Human Rights Programs from the Center for Social Advocacy, and Adan Ortiz, a victim of labor trafficking, also spoke. They described the deplorable conditions workers suffered after being bought or hired by employers who were aware of their undocumented status. The labor slaves, including women and children, are forced to work for the lowest of wages or none at all in the fields, as nannies, in sweatshops and in massage parlors. Many never earn enough to regain their freedom.
BSCC Director Marisa Ugarte will conduct Crisis Intervention Training in December for those interested in becoming a volunteer for the Emergency Response Team. More information can be found at www.bsccoalition.org or by calling (619) 336-0770.
Ugarte also announced that the BSCC will sponsor an event at the United Nations complex in Balboa Park on Jan. 11 in accordance with the national Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Finally, Soroptimist International of Vista hopes to raise the $1,200 needed to run a 28-second anti-human trafficking PSA at the Krikorian cinema beginning in January. If the full amount can be raised, this PSA would run prior to PG-13 and R rated movies for 12 weeks.
For more information on the PSA or the collaborative in general, contact Kaye Van Nevel at (760) 630-7839, or vie e-mail at [email protected]