Child & Sex Trafficking Summit in Van Nuys All Set For July 30th
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. According to the United Nations, “Children are trafficked for forced labor, domestic work, as child soldiers, as camel jockeys, for begging, work on construction sites and plantations but most children are trafficked for sexual exploitation. And girls trafficked for forced labor and domestic work often end up sexually exploited by their employers. The vulnerability of these children is even greater when they arrive in another country. Often they do not have contact with their families and are at the mercy of their employers.”
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. For more information please visit www.vnnc.org.
About the Council Member
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Nury Martinez has dedicated her life to her community, working to create good-paying local jobs, keeping our communities safe and advocating for our children and students. A neighborhood watch captain, homeowner and a mother, Nury is working to deliver resources to Valley residents.
Throughout her career, Nury has delivered results for our community. As a School Board Member, she successfully fought to keep the aviation mechanics school at the Van Nuys Airport open. Despite planned budget cuts, Nury put pressure on local and federal government agencies to help keep the school open, and keep jobs in our community. As an executive director of a local non-profit, Nury helped clean up a former toxic waste site and turn it into the Pacoima Plaza shopping center that only hires local workers from the community. Nury has also helped obtain millions of dollars to expand community health clinics and has opened up more opportunities for seniors to participate in recreational programs.
Nury’s family history and background in community organizing inspire her goals on the Los Angeles City Council. Nury will fight to attract and retain businesses that create solid middle class jobs. She will do this by revitalizing key commercial corridors, like the Van Nuys Corridor or old Montgomery Ward site in the heart of Panorama City, with smart economic development plans.
With her experience in the non-profit sector fighting for grant funds, Nury will work to finish the 40-acre Cesar Chavez park project and turn some of the existing landfills in Sun Valley into more open space for the residents of CD 6. She will also fight to fully fund public safety so that all our City’s residents can count on faster emergency response times and well-trained first responders.
Nury is a graduate of San Fernando High School and California State University at Northridge. She and her husband Gerry live in Sun Valley with their young daughter.