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Graphic from VT human trafficking task force [http://www.ccvs.state.vt.us/nomoreslaves]
Graphic from VT human trafficking task force [http://www.ccvs.state.vt.us/nomoreslaves]

Joining forces to stop North Country human trafficking

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Human trafficking is a growing problem across the country...including here in the North Country. Undocumented farmworkers can be threatened with deportation. Sex workers or foreign brides can be held against their will. Foreign students with visas to work at Adirondack tourism destinations are vulnerable.

Law enforcement and area not-for-profits are joining forces to stop human trafficking in the North Country. Representatives from Homeland Security, the state attorney general's office and labor department, and social service agencies from St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Franklin counties met earlier this month at SUNY Potsdam. They were joined by not-for-profits that help immigrants, domestic violence victims, and other vulnerable people.

Renan Salgado is a human trafficking specialist with the Worker Justice Center of New York. He's organizing the North Country human trafficking task force. He spoke with David Sommerstein.

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Renan Salgado is a human trafficking specialist with the Worker Justice Center of New York. He says trafficking victims can be hard to find, and a task force can help.

"Someone that's teaching English as second language to construction workers that are from Pakistan…access is a big deal. Sometimes it's easier to investigate, to access for non-government agencies than government agencies, so it behooves both sides to have that connection."

Salgado says human trafficking is common in the North Country, as anywhere. Undocumented farmworkers, sex workers, and foreigners on tourism work visas are all vulnerable to exploitation.

David Sommerstein spoke in-depth with Renan Salgado about human trafficking and his organization's efforts to stop it. To hear that conversation, click on "listen."

 

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