A Builder Update from Kadra Abdi
Nationally, there are many efforts underway to end the trafficking of youth. These efforts require the collective efforts between community-based organizations, foundations and law enforcement to end sex trafficking in our respective regions. One of the steps is passing laws to protect victims of the trafficking. Another crucial step is changing attitudes and ending stigma surrounding the practice. Because most of the trafficking is happening in our backyards, community members are going to be key to identify and also be part of offering solutions. My builder project is to ensure the OTA region has the knowledge, skills and resources to effectively identify sexually exploited and at-risk youth.
In Minnesota, the human trafficking task force has been instrumental in passing the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act of 2011, and this success is largely attributed to the partnership between community members and law enforcement. I want to emphasize this partnership in my project and to offer best practices from this partnership.
To start on this, my plan is to do a network mapping to identify who is involved in this work. I want to focus on building collaboration between activists and advocates in North Dakota and Minnesota. I am interested in organizing community dialogues to address the root causes of the issue and offer long-terms solutions.
Thanks, Kadra! Read more about her work here.