Saturday, May 23, 2009

Welcome the Newest Contributor to HTP!

My name is Jennifer Kimball, and I am a recent graduate of the University of Missouri (May 16th!). I plan to pursue a career in public service working to fight human trafficking; Currently I am working in DC with the Truman Fellows Program, and I am a 2008 Harry S. Truman Scholar. I am the co-founder of Stop Traffic Now, a student anti-trafficking organization that started in April 2007. I am also the co-founder of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, which is a multi-sector, community-based coalition made up of law enforcement officials, social service providers, university professionals, members of faith communities, students and others.

I first studied human trafficking as a freshman in college; during my sophomore year, I met another student who was also passionate about this issue, and together we decided we wanted to do something to fight trafficking. When we learn that people were trafficked to our own, small college town, we became even more passionate. I helped lead the planning and hosting of an internationally attended human trafficking conference; more than one hundred people came from all over the country and some from outside of the US. The coalition grew out of this conference.

I am especially committed to raising awareness about trafficking within the US, especially domestic trafficking, since so many people (even those aware of human trafficking) do not know that it happens in the US and to US citizens. Raising awareness is particularly crucial right now; until people know about this crime and how to recognize it, nothing can be done to stop it. So many of the law enforcement officials that I work with have told me stories about how they came across trafficking victims before, but since they did not have training and awareness, they did not help these people.

My posts will focus on anti-trafficking efforts and awareness, as well as on human trafficking issues that are often ignored. While human trafficking is a horrific, daunting and massive human rights abuse that can be overwhelming at times, everyone has a role in working to stop slavery.

No comments:

Post a Comment