Midwestern Pastor Calls for Community Symposium to Fashion a Response
By Michael Ireland
Special Reporter, ASSIST News Service
STILLWATER, MN (ANS) -- Human trafficking is prevalent in many countries around the world. Different countries may be primarily sites of origin, transit, destination, and/or internal trafficking.
Children are at risk in all 50 US States.
According to World Wide Village www.worldwidevillage.org, human trafficking is a market-based economy that exists on principles of supply and demand. It thrives due to conditions which allow for high profits to be generated at low risk.
Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states of the United States, the organization says. Worldwide trafficking is estimated to be a $32 billion per year industry.
The organization goes on to say that, after drug dealing, human trafficking (both sex trafficking and trafficking for forced labor) is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest growing.
Domestic statistics related to sex trafficking are shocking: in Minnesota, each month between 210 and 230 underage girls are sold for sex an average of 5 times per day.
. Minnesota is the 4th fastest growing market in the United States.
. 85 percent of trafficked victims are prior sufferers of child sexual abuse, rape, or incest.
. Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) has been identified by the FBI as one
of the top cities with a large population of child prostitution enterprises.
. Beginning in 2010, online sales of minor girls being sold for sex in Minnesota increased by 55 percent annually and that growth trend continues today.
. 75 percent of girls entangled in prostitution networks are controlled by a sex trafficker or pimp using fear and intimidation tactics.
. 95 percent become chemically dependent.
Now a Midwestern pastor is calling for a community-based response to the endemic problem plaguing our local communities.
Pastor Bill Hieb of Riverside Church in Somerset, Wisconsin, told ANS: "This scourge must be stopped, and we need to rescue these victims from the depravity that is spreading throughout the USA. Partner with us in order to develop a consortium of the entire community to push back on this blight to our society."
Hieb has called for a community-wide meeting on Saturday, June 29 at Boutwells Landing Senior Living Center at 5600 Norwich Parkway, Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, beginning at 10 a.m.
Randy Mortensen of World Wide Village, a 501C3 based in Saint Paul, MN will host the Symposium of interested Clergy, Rescue Missions, Law Enforcement, Community leaders, Churches and Volunteers to unveil an agenda for networking to help people escape human trafficking, drug addiction, prostitution, alcoholism, gangs and the resulting violence in our communities.
Hieb added: "Randy Mortensen of World Wide Village has the passion and the skills to develop this consortium and he will be heading up the meeting and giving the presentation. He is working with many other like-minded groups to lead a larger network in order to push back on this dilemma with as many resources as can be mustered."
Those who are interested in attending, or would like more information should Contact: Pastor Bill Hieb at 320-305-6530 for more details. Or, call Randy Mortensen at the World Wide Village office at 651-777-6908.
Space is limited to the first 150 registrants, please RSVP online for this symposium by going to www.worldwidevillage.org/human-trafficking-symposium or the shortened link http://bit.ly/12T6vJS or call one of the phone numbers listed above.