by Lynn Johnson, Human Services Director
comments open from April 7 until April 26
Human trafficking is a 32 billion-dollar-a-year industry. It is the fastest growing crime, now second only to drug trade and it is happening here, in our community, in Jefferson County.
The Jefferson County Department of Human Services, through the Children and Youth Leadership Commission, has formed a network of collaboration with law enforcement, public safety, health care providers and the Jefferson County Public Health Department, legislators, educators, mental health professionals, and community outreach agencies as a coalition to best serve victims of human trafficking. U.S. Department of Justice reports that between 2008-2010, 83 percent of sex trafficking victims found within the United States have been involved at one time with the child welfare system, specifically foster care.
Human Services, including child and family services, are working to increase victim safety, support victims in protecting themselves and their children, identify and create appropriate referral options for each victim, and standardize procedures and resources for screening victims.
This year, the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners, issued a proclamation declaring zero tolerance for human trafficking in Jefferson County. All Colorado counties are now challenged to proclaim the same commitment to putting an end to human trafficking in the state of Colorado.
This is not an issue that can be solved by any one agency; it takes partnership and multiple resources to solve. You can do your part - if you suspect human trafficking, contact our Child Protection Hotline at 303-271-HELP (4357) and/or the Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking (CoNEHT) at 1-866-455-5075, toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.