Jan. 11 event to raise awareness of human trafficking

AZ-EV Pinal County square logo 2015


On Monday, Jan, 11, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with Pinal County Rescue and Restore, will host a ceremony in recognition of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

The National Human Trafficking Awareness Day event will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse, 971 Jason Lopez Circle, Building A, in Florence.

The event will feature two speakers, including a human trafficking survivor and Pinal County’s own Laura Walsh, a country music performer and human trafficking activist.

Human trafficking remains a serious, global problem. The PCAO designed this event to bring awareness to the Pinal community and make more people aware of the seriousness of the issue, according to a press release.

“Traffickers force or coerce people into sex and labor, an act of modern day slavery. To describe these crimes as inhumane does not even do justice for the type of abuse, mistreatment and violence these victims get subjected to on a daily basis,” Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles said in the release. “Through our grant, we hope to bring awareness and education to our Pinal community with the goal of assisting victims and taking traffickers off of the streets and putting them behind bars.”

In 2014, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office received a $90,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Families and Children to be used toward rescuing and restoring foreign victims of human trafficking. With the grant, PCAO formed Pinal County Rescue and Restore, a coalition made up of key stakeholders.

Those stakeholders include local, state and federal law enforcement officials, mental health providers, faith-based organizations, first responders, PCAO deputy county attorneys and emergency shelter staff. The grant allows PCAO to provide outreach, public awareness, training and coalition building throughout Pinal County.

For more information, call Tiffany Davila with the PCAO at 520-866-6573 or e-mail her at tiffany.davila@pinalcountyaz.gov.

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