February 1, 2021
The Crown Street Roasting Company in Jamestown displayed visual effects on its storefront to help raise awareness, in January, National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month. PJ Photography: Jay Young
In January of this year, organizations and individuals in Western New York and other regions gathered behind a common cause as part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month.
The Children’s Advocacy Program led the charge in Jamestown and increased its county-wide work to provide training and expand public discussions on abuse and trafficking.
Kayleah Feser, coordinator of the CAP Safe Harbor Program, said.
The Safe Harbor program started in 2016 and was acquired by CAP in 2019. It was created by the State of New York and the county to address the rise in human trafficking and the exploitation of children.
CAP currently has only 14 employees and spent most of January expanding contacts with local organizations to help raise awareness.
In January, visitors to Guan Street may have noticed the display of front windows with silhouettes of children on them, representing the number of people at the highest risk of exploitation in the area.
In recent months, one of the most encouraging signs of CAP has been the retention of personnel involved in the program, many of whom are interested in continuing to combat trafficking and abuse.
Following the measures taken by many other organizations against COVID-19, many CAP promotion activities have been digitized in recent months.
As the pandemic has led to an increase in drug use and domestic violence, there is also concern that human trafficking may have increased and took different forms in the past year.
Feather said it talked about drug abuse, domestic violence and economic chaos.
As children spend more and more time online, the possibility of coercion through digital media is increasing.
However, the technological advantages here develop in two directions. Digital platforms can also increase awareness of these issues and make training and promotion more effective.
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