City Council Supports Motion on Denouncement of Human Trafficking

Councillors George Rotondo, Jessica Giannino, and Richard Serino sponsored the following motion requesting that the City Council and Mayor Brian Arrigo denounce human trafficking and all its forms and support the following resolution:

WHEREAS, we, the undersigned members of the Revere City Council, recognize the urgent and critical need to create a Human Trafficking Free Zone; and

WHEREAS, as a Council, also recognize the impact human trafficking has on the people of Revere and our residents who may have suffered from human trafficking or forced labor, and in a manner that prevents human trafficking and forced labor and unites all residents of Revere against it; and

WHEREAS, we, The City Revere City Council, affirms our commitment against human trafficking and sex trafficking of children in any form; and

WHEREAS, human trafficking is an international, national, and local phenomenon that traps millions in cycles of exploitation for sex or labor and is often called “modern slavery”.  It is a direct affront to individual human rights and jeopardizes community health; and

WHEREAS, worldwide, human trafficking generates about $36 billion each year.  About one quarter of those dollars circulates in the United States, where freedom is an inalienable right; and

WHEREAS, commercial sex trafficking includes “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act.” Children in “the life” are considered victims of severe forms of trafficking—and they are in our schools; and

WHEREAS, every year, hundreds of thousands of children, mostly girls in early adolescence, are at risk of being trafficked. They are subject to physical, verbal and sexual abuse. Specifically, they face social isolation, lack of care, manipulation and severe health concerns, including  HIV.  Getting out of the life isn’t easy—many are trauma-bonded with those who exploit them and must overcome stigmatization and post-traumatic stress.  In some states, they also face the threat of a criminal record; and

WHEREAS, research by the Polaris Project indicates that the majority of trafficked persons come from vulnerable groups, including undocumented migrants, runaways, at-risk youth, oppressed or marginalized groups, and the poor, in which this occurs specifically because they are the easiest to recruit and control.  Many of these young people are our students; and

WHEREAS, organizations such as SEEN in Suffolk County have been incredible leaders in establishing and maintaining infrastructure to combat child sex trafficking and education about this issue.  Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN) is a groundbreaking partnership that unites more than 35 public and private agencies in the belief that collaboration yields positive outcomes for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC). Before the creation of SEEN in 2006, this form of human trafficking was virtually unrecognized in Suffolk County; and

WHEREAS, Child abuse “best practice” is premised upon the philosophy that “no one agency can do it alone.”  Children referred to SEEN typically have complex histories, involve many collateral agencies, and often, multiple jurisdictions. SEEN Case Coordinators promptly connect each of these agencies and individuals together as a team to facilitate an efficient and effective response; and

WHEREAS, with the proper training, paraprofessionals, teachers, school personnel, and first responders can recognize and help victims of human trafficking in all its form.  Schools, and all employees of the City of Revere can be part of the frontline to combat the marginalization, criminalization, and exploitation of our most vulnerable.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The Revere City Council stands in the fight to end human trafficking and condemn the ongoing exploitation and profit from sex trafficking and forced labor; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Revere provide resources to inform and educate all people in Revere on how to recognize human trafficking, forced labor and sex trafficking in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, and Russian, and how to access help on the City’s website and call 911; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City or Revere will address the consequences of human trafficking by supporting programs that counteract victims’ criminalization and stigmatization through educating victims about their rights and opportunities, facilitating social reintegration, advancing educational opportunities, and assisting in obtaining sustainable employment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Revere City Council reclaim the promise of safe and humane communities by supporting legislation to eradicate human trafficking in Massachusetts and the United States and abroad.

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