VAN NUYS, CA — The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is hosting a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 6:30 pm to address Child & Sex Trafficking in the San Fernando Valley. FBI Special Agent Ronald Schloegel is scheduled to present and speak, and will be addressing specific items including statistics, how the FBI investigates, how the community can be proactive, warning signs, and new crime fighting techniques being used to address this issue.
“It is a great honor and privilege to work alongside the FBI and Special Agent Ronald Schloegel on addressing child sex trafficking in the San Fernando Valley. This is a major issue in Van Nuys, as well as throughout the Valley and Southern California. This summit gives the community a perfect opportunity to come together with the law enforcement leadership in our area, and really tackle this serious problem head-on,” said George Christopher Thomas, President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), “Human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern-day slavery. Estimates place the number of its domestic and international victims in the millions, mostly females and children enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money. The terms human trafficking and sex slavery usually conjure up images of young girls beaten and abused in faraway places, like Eastern Europe, Asia, or Africa. Actually, human sex trafficking and sex slavery happen locally in cities and towns, both large and small, throughout the United States, right in citizens’ backyards.”
“It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves. They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.”
Additionally, “The US State Department reported that one million children are exploited in the global sex trade. Sex tourists, seeking anonymity and impunity in foreign lands, exploit many of these children in child sex tourism. Child trafficking can occur when children are abducted from the streets, sold into sexual slavery and forced marriage by relatives, or in any place where traffickers, pimps and recruiters prey upon a child’s vulnerabilities. Poverty is the pre-condition that makes it easier for traffickers to operate.
The greatest factor in promoting child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation is the demand for younger and younger victims worldwide. This demand comes from the mostly male buyers who become the customers in the growing global sex industry. Children are often trafficked, employed and exploited because, compared to adults, they are more vulnerable, cheaper to hire and are less likely to demand higher wages or better working conditions. Some employers falsely argue that children are particularly suited to certain types of work because of their small size and “nimble fingers.”
“We plan on reaching out to every level of law enforcement, as well as other local governments and municipalities in the area, and would like to bring the experts, the community leaders, and the general public together to address this local and global issue,” said George Christopher Thomas, President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council.
“At the Summit and Special Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Meeting, I would like to focus solely on Child & Sex Trafficking. We have an obligation and a duty to our community to come up with a strategic plan, and I believe doing so should be our top concern,” said Thomas.
The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council meets at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard and the Summit will take place in the Council Chambers starting at 6:30 pm. If your Neighborhood Council or organization would like to co-host this summit with the VNNC, please email Council President Thomas at email@example.com. For more information please visit www.vnnc.org. The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is the largest Neighborhood Council in the San Fernando Valley, and the second largest of all 95 Neighborhood Council’s in Los Angeles.
All media and the general public are invited to attend. Please email any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.