Friday, August 19, 2022

Play

A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.

Play

Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.

Play

More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

Human Traffickers Still Use the So-Called 'Minnesota Pipeline'

Play

Wednesday, February 8, 2012   

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A report being delivered to Minnesota lawmakers this week is expected to open their eyes to an issue often in the shadows - human trafficking. Brian Rusche, executive director of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC), says some estimates put the number of women and girls involved in prostitution in the state at 10,000.

"The fact is that Minnesota has a human trafficking problem out of proportion to our population; more than you would expect. And so, the first thing we need to do, I think, is just shake us up a little and say, 'This is happening in our backyard and we have to address a growing problem.'"

Rusche says the perpetrators often target those children who are vulnerable; the typical age of a child forced into trafficking is between 11 and 14.

"If you're a young person and you're homeless, and somebody is going to get you out of the cold and give you a warm place to live, that has a certain amount of attraction – and just may be enough to keep you in a really unhealthy relationship."

Some people question why the victims don't just run when the false kindness they were shown turns into forced sex or labor. Rusche explains it is often because they have nowhere to turn, and have been robbed of their human dignity and free will.

"There's a certain level of coercion, psychological control and fear involved, so that people feel like they are locked in, they're trapped and they can't get out. It's a modern form of slavery."

Two ways to address the issue, says Rusche, are to enact tougher penalties for perpetrators and ensure that state law treats victims like victims. He adds the factors that increase vulnerability to human trafficking also need to be addressed – such issues as poverty, homelessness and child neglect.

Rusche says the state actually earned the label "the Minnesota pipeline" because of its reputation as a place where young girls could easily be lured, whether it was in the cities, the suburbs or small towns. In 2008, the FBI declared Minneapolis the eighth worst city in the United States for trafficking of juveniles.

The report is online at jrlc.org.




get more stories like this via email

Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans participated in a new initiative that provides free schooling for people who want to become certified nursing assistants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …


Health and Wellness

Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…

Environment

The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …


A new Indigenous academy in South Dakota, geared for younger students, says it wants the kids to have a deep sense of belonging, higher engagement and motivation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…

Environment

Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …

hearing aids are not covered under Medicare or most insurance plans. (EdwardOlive/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021