Since it’s inception in September 2009, Central Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans (OATH) has made presentations to more than 2000 people. Venues have included churches, social service organizations, law enforcement, other governmental agencies and concerned citizens. However, the demand for human trafficking information is still resounding.
In response to that demand, Tuesday, August 2, 5– 7:45pm at the Bend Library, 601 Wall Street in Bend, Nita Belles will present a training about human trafficking taking place in the U.S. including right here in Central Oregon.
Attendees will gain knowledge of how to recognize it and what can be done to stop this atrocity. Although there is normally a cost for this training, this particular training will be free of charge. Pre-registration is not required but will be helpful. One may preregister at firstname.lastname@example.org. Content is geared toward a mature audience.
After drug dealing, trafficking of humans has become the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world. One of every three runaway teens will be lured towards sex trafficking within 48 hours of running away. In a recent nationwide FBI sting operation Oregon ranked second in victims recovered, according to Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans.
“We often hear of human trafficking overseas, but what we don’t hear is that right here in Central Oregon we have seen many kinds of human trafficking.” says Nita Belles, Central Oregon Regional Coordinator for Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans, which is an extension of the Oregon Human Trafficking Task Force.
“This is why we are organizing and working hard to educate our community to recognize and report when they see suspicious activities which could be human trafficking.”
Nita Belles is the author of In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective of Human Trafficking in the United States, and she speaks nationwide to bring awareness of human trafficking. She is also on the Board of Directors and is the Regional Coordinator for OATH, which is an extension of the Oregon Human Trafficking Task Force. She works with victims/survivors of human trafficking and also networks with other national and international organizations such as KlaasKids, Free the Slaves, and Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
OATH promotes public awareness, providing training and education, coordinates victim resources and assists in the aggressive prosecution of human traffickers within the state of Oregon. For more information visit: www.cooath.org