Published

February 09, 2022

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On Monday, January 24, 2022, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted the Deterring Human Trafficking forum.

  • Ashleigh Chapman, CEO and president of the Alliance for Freedom, Restoration, and Justice, moderated a conversation with Dr. Hanna Stoklosa, CEO of HEAL Trafficking (Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage), and health care industry stakeholders to discuss human trafficking victim identification and response.
  • A21, kNot Today, and It’s a Penalty, which are members of the Alliance Against Human Trafficking & Exploitation, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association highlighted their partnerships with professional sports leagues to inform spectators on how to prevent sexual exploitation.

Glenn Spencer, senior vice president of the Employment Policy Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, kicked off the Deterring Human Trafficking event to commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness month. He stressed that businesses play a critical role in developing upstream and downstream measures to combat this heinous crime. Upstream measures focus on prevention, while downstream interventions emphasize the importance of remedying the offense once it has occurred.

Ashleigh Chapman, president of the Alliance for Freedom, Restoration, and Justice (AFRJ), moderated a conversation with Dr. Hanni Stoklosa, co-founder of HEAL Trafficking, and Abigail Boldin, Ombudsman liaison at Amerigroup, on how the health care sector aids in victim identification and response.

HEAL Trafficking addresses this heinous crime as a public health priority. Stoklosa said that the health care sector is a first line of defense in recognizing victims in a clinical setting. She added that we need health systems to establish protocols to observe both sex and labor trafficking, as well as educate medical professionals on how to combat all forms of trafficking.

Boldin discussed Amerigroup’s work with at-risk individuals and human trafficking victims. She remarked that health care is a significant and integral piece for identifying people who are vulnerable and that cross-industry partnerships are essential to serving survivors.

Abby Boldin, Amerigroup ombudsman for the Georgia Families 360 program

Mollie Thorsen, director of advocacy at A21, led a discussion with Sarah de Carvalho, chief executive officer of It’s a Penalty, and Linda and Frank Reich, co-founders of kNot Today. Frank Reich is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. The conversation centered on their participation with the Alliance Against Human Trafficking & Exploitation, a collaborative effort to combat human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

The Reichs have been active in fighting child sexual abuse and formed kNot Today as a platform for raising awareness. Frank Reich has appeared in his capacity as an NFL head coach to speak out against trafficking. Linda Reich made the business case for engaging in early childhood intervention, saying that “it costs a community over $100,000 per year to restore a child that has been sexually abused.”  

Sarah de Carvalho founded It’s a Penalty, an organization that works locally and globally to end abuse, exploitation, and trafficking through awareness-raising campaigns during major global sporting events, advocacy for legal reform, educational programs, and youth empowerment. Ahead of Super Bowl LVI, It’s a Penalty launched its 12th annual campaign. The campaign is working with IHG Hotels & Resorts, LAX airport, Uber, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, among others to raise awareness, offer community training, provide victim services, and coordinate with local law enforcement to apprehend perpetrators.

Michael Billet, director of policy research at the U.S. Chamber, mentioned that organizations interested in participating in these efforts can learn more about the Chamber’s Task Force to Eradicate Human Trafficking at uschamber.com. The task force educates the public about human trafficking, hosts programs with stakeholders, and meets with federal government officials to advocate on behalf of the interests of Chamber members.