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February 2019 Edition

A synthesis of the latest anti-trafficking news, events, and information from across the state and the nation.

Photograph of workers used in 2015 TIP Report. Credit goes to Laura Emiko Soltis.
Photograph of workers used in 2015 TIP Report. Photograph credit goes to Laura Emiko Soltis of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

The Use of Imagery in the Anti-Trafficking Field

An ongoing struggle for the anti-trafficking field is how to visually depict the issue of human trafficking. The line between provocative and exploitative is thin making it easy to succumb to the temptation to use sensational imagery to get the attention of the public. This phenomenon is on full display when conducting a basic search of human trafficking images online. According to a 2016 Freedom Network panel discussion, when panelists conducted a Google image search for the phrase “human trafficking” the first ten pages reflected the following:

  • 79.2% of images were of adult women
  • 2.8% of images were of adult men
  • 19.9% of images represented children
  • 62% of images were of white individuals
  • 34% of images were non-white individuals
  • 35 images of physical restraint (handcuffs, shackles, ropes, etc.)
  • 35 images included nudity (all women)

Based on these findings, is it really all that surprising that survey research indicates (PDF) that the general public thinks that women/girls are more at risk than men/boys and that human trafficking always requires threats or actual use of physical violence? 

In many respects, contemporary anti-trafficking activists have repurposed some of the most negative images and ideas about enslaved people and how to represent them from history. Using this type of imagery, historian Zoe Trodd argues, will reinforce the paternalism, dehumanization, depersonalization, and sensationalism that marked the visual culture of the first abolitionist movement. In response to this trend, Zoe Trodd criticizes such depictions in today's contemporary anti-trafficking movement with the intended effect of urging artists and designers to produce images that convey messages of empowerment. It challenges the artist to consider perspective, angle, color choice, subject, and the myriad of decisions that comprise the design process. For example, a designer might choose to use vector graphics and cartoons as opposed to a photograph of a person. Even subtle changes to perspective and framing can be powerful; it could be the difference between showing an individual in a place of empowerment versus a position of supplication. We suggest reading Freedom Collaborative’s 2016 Guidance Note on the Use of Victims’ Images (PDF) for more information.

A healthy democracy is necessarily contingent on an informed public. Several studies have found (PDF) that anti-trafficking legislation and implementation reflects public opinion related to prostitution, gender, and sex. Salacious imagery muddles the realities of human trafficking making it difficult to untangle myth from reality when it comes to solving this issue. The relationship between public opinion and public policy is close-knit—for this reason, it is important that we present human trafficking in a way that accurately captures the reality of the situation and honors the perspective of survivors.

News and Publications

Photograph of the Star of Texas on wood.

Couple convicted of forced labor of West African girl for 16 years

Defendants Mohamed Toure and Denise Cros-Toure, of Southlake, Texas, were convicted by a federal jury in Ft. Worth, TX, of forced labor and other federal felonies for compelling the domestic labor of a young, undocumented West African girl for 16 years. The verdicts were announced by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas, and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey McGallicher of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Houston Field Office. 

Photograph of the Alps in Switzerland.

Ending human trafficking: Discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos

The world's business and political elites descended on Davos, Switzerland this past January for the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. Topics of conversation were wide-ranging, covering topics such as climate change, what constitutes dignified work, and human trafficking. CNN's Freedom Project hosted a panel discussion with representatives from UNICEF, Marriot, International, Hewlett-Packard, and International Justice Mission "to discuss the role that big business can play in ending modern-day slavery."

CDHS Anti-Trafficking Livestream

Colorado Department of Human Services hosts a panel discussion on human trafficking in Colorado

The CO4Kids public awareness campaign hosted by the Colorado Department of Human Services held a Facebook Live session on Friday, Jan. 18th to raise awareness about human trafficking in Colorado. You can watch the full live stream on the CO4Kids Facebook page
OVC Funding Announcement Image

Apply for FY 2018 Integrated Services for Minor Victims of Human Trafficking

OVC is seeking applications for the FY 2018 Integrated Services for Minor Victims of Human Trafficking solicitation.

This new program is designed to enhance the quality and quantity of direct services available to assist minor (under the age of 18) victims of human trafficking.

The deadline to apply is April 4, 2019.

Upcoming Events

Benet Hill Monastery — Human Trafficking Prevention Series

Benet Hill Monastery will be hosting a series of sessions on human trafficking Monday, February 11 and Monday, February 25. Each session will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Fore more information, including how to register, visit the event registration page

Annual Monica Petersen Memorial Lecture

The Human Trafficking Center at the University of Denver will host an in-depth discussion on how religious beliefs affect the framing of laws and service response in the field of human trafficking. The event will be held on March 8, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Anderson Academic Commons. Please RSVP on the event's official registration page

2019 Freedom Network Conference

The 2019 Freedom Network Conference will take place on March 20-21, 2019 at the Hilton Mark Center in Alexandria, VA. The title of the 2019 conference is Grounding and Growing: Tools for a Powerful Anti-Trafficking Movement. Visit the Freedom Network USA website for more details. 

Regional Collaboration Meetings

Vector graphic of a meeting calendar.
February 7th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Douglas County Human Trafficking Task Force. This meeting is not open to the public. For more information, please contact Shannon Streib.
February 11th, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Western Slope Against Trafficking. WSAT meetings are not open to the public. For more information, please contact Tom Acker
February 12th, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Alliance to Combat Human Trafficking - Pueblo. This meeting is not open to the public. Please contact for more information. 
February 12th,  5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado. This meeting is held at the First United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs (map). For more information, please contact Julee Bellar.
February 14th,  3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. North Eastern Colorado Coalition Against Human Trafficking. This meeting is not open to the public. For more information about this group, please contact Diana Laws
February 20th,  11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Jefferson County Human Trafficking Sub-committee. This meeting is held at the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office (map). For more information, please contact Amy Sciancula.
February 26th,  2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance. This meeting is not open to the public. Please contact Elise Reifschneider for more information.

Upcoming Council and FRAC Meetings

Upcoming Colorado Human Trafficking Council Meeting

Feb. 22nd, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. Colorado Human Trafficking Council (CHTC) meetings are always open to the public. The Council meeting will be held at the Jefferson County Human Services Building (map). For more information, visit the Council meetings page.

Upcoming Front Range Anti-Trafficking Coalition Meeting

April 18th, 2:00  3:30 p.m. 
Front Range Anti-trafficking Coalition (FRAC) meetings are open to the public. The location of the next FRAC meeting is the Community Room at the DPD District II Station. For more information about the next FRAC meeting, please contact Cate Bowman.
The content of this newsletter is not an endorsement nor does it reflect the opinions, views, or affiliations of the Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, the Colorado Human Trafficking Council, or the Front-Range Anti-trafficking Coalition. The content of this newsletter is intended for informational purposes only. 

Copyright © 2019 Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office for Victims Programs, All rights reserved.

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