TROY Dothan Campus to host human trafficking seminar

Posted: Friday, 20 August 2010

DOTHAN—Troy University will serve as host for a seminar at the Dothan Campus Sept. 17 designed to help local law enforcement, social services and other organizations better understand and respond to the growing issue of human trafficking

Defined as a crime in which victims are held by intimidation, fraud or coercion for the purposes of drug trafficking, commercial sex or forced labor, human trafficking is a global problem present in Alabama and the Wiregrass, said seminar committee co-chair Elizabeth Glasgow.

“This is an issue that has not received a lot of attention in this area,” Glasgow said. “The victims are often completely hidden, but it is happening here in Houston County. We wanted to get law enforcement, social workers, clergy and community leaders together to become educated about this issue.”

Illegal immigrants are often the victims of human trafficking, but U.S. citizens can become victims as well. Because victims are often afraid or unable to report the crime to police, social services organizations or churches are often the first to encounter incidents of human trafficking, Glasgow said.

“This is not just a law enforcement problem,” Glasgow said. “We need people in the community who recognize this problem and can help law enforcement bring these victims to safety.”

The daylong seminar will be held on Friday, Sept. 17, in Sony Hall at the Dothan Campus starting at 8 a.m. Speakers for the seminar include:

  • Nola Theiss, founder and executive direct of Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships, Inc.
  • Monica Stump, U.S. Attorney’ Office, Montgomery
  • Sister Rose Marie Martell, Catholic Social Services, Montgomery
  • Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz
  • Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes
  • Capt. Antonio Gonzalez, Houston County Sheriff’s Department, special investigations
  • Theresa Flores, a human trafficking survivor and victim’s advocate

The seminar is open to the public. Social workers, law enforcement personnel, counselors and clergy who attend can receive continuing education credit. Registration is $15 or $40 for professionals seeking CEU credits. The deadline to register is Sept. 10.

For more information, or to register, contact the TROY Continuing Education Center at 334-983-0005.

he seminar is sponsored by the Dothan Zonta Club, the Continuing Education Center, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships, Catholic Social Services and Covenant United Methodist Church.