Implementation in Whatcom County
Hope4Justice needs your help with inviting and encouraging key people from Whatcom County to attend the 3rd Annual Trafficking Conference being held in Anacortes on March 1, 2017. Hope4Justice will be having a public meeting this coming Tuesday, January 17th at 7 pm to learn about the conference and organize the outreach. (See below for more meeting information.)
The conference, featuring speakers from King County who have implemented The Nordic Model to combat sex trafficking, is being hosted by the Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking.
Carol Clayton from Skagit Coalition Against Trafficking says, "Human Trafficking is the fastest growing organized crime in America. While Human Sex trafficking is rapidly increasing in every major city in the United States, there is one county…only one county, that has been decreasing for the past two years. That is King County, Seattle. Good for them…bad for us. The pimps are now avoiding King county, taking the kids north and south along the I-5 corridor.
The King County team, who is responsible for this success, has agreed to share how to implement the tools and skills necessary to protect the kids and vulnerable adults in the 5 counties north of King County to the Canadian border. Those counties are Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan and Snohomish.
Hope4Justice invites you to attend this week's public meeting from 7-8:30 pm on Tuesday, 1/17 (details below) to learn more and help us plan outreach to social workers, law enforcement, educators, health workers and others in who are in positions of influence to develop policy in Whatcom County. It's time for Whatcom County to coordinate efforts to develop and implement programs to stop sex trafficking.
For a little background information on the Nordic Model, I read an April 2016 article on CNN.com discussing France's adoption of the Nordic Model. It says, "France's new law codifies what is known as the Nordic Model for combating sexual exploitation. It recognizes prostitution as a form of violence, makes the purchase of sex acts illegal, regards prostituted persons as victims rather than criminals, and provides victims with help to get out of the business."
The article goes on to say, "In Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Northern Ireland, this approach has been effective in reducing the demand for paid sexual services. And this in turn threatens the profits of those who traffic in human beings for personal gain.
In contrast, a competing European approach clearly does not work, and may even have made things worse. The legalizing or decriminalizing of prostitution in The Netherlands and Spain has backfired, proving a disaster for exploited persons and creating new victims. Sex tourists have flocked to The Netherlands, turning brothels there into a powerful industry that faces minimal regulation."
Policies and procedures that work. People willing to share their experiences and expertise with us. Sounds like a path forward toward fighting sex trafficking right here in Whatcom County. But first we need to publicize the conference and get key people to attend. Would you help us? See meeting details below.
See you Tuesday!