Freedom Summit 2013, the largest anti-human trafficking event in the United States, is scheduled Jan. 25 and 26 at Harbor Light Church in Fremont.
“The Bay Area … has some of the nation’s highest volumes of trafficking activity,” said Betty Ann Boeving, founder and executive director of the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition (BAATC), summit organizer. “We are also among the nation’s most progressive regions in terms of anti-trafficking legislation, prevention and services.”
Boeving emphasized the importance of the gathering.
“People come not just to hear the facts, but to connect with others and learn what they can do to stop the spread of human trafficking,” she said.
Jaida Im of Los Altos is founder and executive director of the nonprofit Freedom House, which provides adult and adolescent survivors a safe home and long-term aftercare to help them break the cycle of human exploitation and transition to a new life.
As a guest speaker at the summit, Im will outline practical suggestions for those who want to support the effort.
“No step is too small,” she said. “Share your commitment to help survivors with posts on Facebook and Twitter. Get your employer involved ... ask your church or community center to host a program about human trafficking.”
Stanford University announced a new Alternative Spring Break program: “Not for Sale: Human Trafficking in the Bay Area,” designed by students Katherine Nasol and Kylie Goh.
“For many Bay Area residents, human trafficking brings to mind brothels or red-light districts on the other side of the world,” Nasol said. “In reality, it involves children and adults who become victims of sex trafficking, domestic servitude and other forms of slave labor through fraud, force or coercion by traffickers.”
For more information on BAATC, visit www.baatc.org.
To register and for more information on the summit, visit www.freedom-summit.org.