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Heinrich Convenes Human Trafficking Awareness Workshops In Eddy And Lea Counties, Cosponsors Legislation To Protect Children From Sexual Exploitation

ARETESIA, N.M. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) convened the second set of Human Trafficking Awareness workshops at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia and in Hobbs at Hobbs City Hall to bring together the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to work with local law enforcement and non-governmental organizations.

Senator Heinrich spoke at the opening of the workshop in Artesia today.

“I thank FLETC for hosting this workshop, and for all of the incredible work you do here in Artesia to train our law enforcement professionals,” said Heinrich. “Human trafficking is a horrific crime. It is also a difficult crime to trace. What we do know is that human trafficking can happen anywhere to anyone. My hope is that these workshops can help us learn from federal experts and from each other about what tools are effective and what else we should be doing to end human trafficking. I encourage local law enforcement agencies to work with me as a partner in this effort to reduce human trafficking and sexual violence in our communities.”

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), every two minutes a child is being victimized for sexual exploitation. Senator Heinrich is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act of 2020, which would prevent the human trafficking and exploitation of children by providing grants critical for training students, parents, teachers, and school personnel to understand, recognize, prevent, and respond to signs of human trafficking.

“I am honored to support legislation to fund more resources so that we can end human trafficking,” said Heinrich. “I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation to make our communities safer.”

Specifically, the bill would issue grants to non-profit organizations and schools to develop and implement age-appropriate, culturally competent, and gender-responsive curriculum, all while prioritizing geographic areas with the highest prevalence of human trafficking. The bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D- Minn.).

For a one-pager fact sheet on the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act, click here





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