Safe Harbor Conference Targets Human Trafficking, Exploitation

OSWEGO – A Safe Harbor Conference, focusing on the issues of human trafficking and exploitation, is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 9 at Lake Ontario Conference Center, 26 E. First St., it was announced by Brian Chetney, executive director, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

In addition to the Youth Bureau and the Office of Children and Family Services, who secured the event the funding grant, this conference is being sponsored by: Oswego County Opportunities, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, and the Department of Social Services.

“This conference is intended for school personnel, law enforcement, child protective/child welfare, mental health professionals, medical providers, clergy, hotel management and other professionals working with children,” said Mary Margaret Pekow, executive director at Catholic Charities. ”We really want to spread awareness about the issue and information about local programs. There will be breakfast and lunch, along with several workshop sessions. Our keynote speaker is Alison Boak and our workshop session presenters are Jamie Cork, Cathy Brochu, the Child Advocacy Center, and Valeria Douglas.”

Click here to register or contact Jlosurdo@oswegocounty.com , 315-349-3451.

Boak, is the co-founder and executive director of the International Organization for Adolescents. Boak founded the IOFA in 1999, a US based independent non-governmental organization formed to eliminate human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable adolescents worldwide by designing innovative programs and solutions to protect youth.

Boak is also a founding member of the Freedom Network USA for Trafficked and Enslaved Persons (co-chair 2004-2006), the New York City Task Force against Sexual Exploitation of Youth (co-chair 2000-2003), the New York City Human Trafficking Task Force (co-chair 2002-2004), and the Westchester County Anti-Trafficking Task Force (Advisor 2010-present).

Boak has authored several innovative training tools and curricula and has educated thousands of advocates, police, prosecutors, judges, border guards, and government leaders, from more than 20 countries about the issue of human trafficking.

On Nov. 8, there will be a screening of “Playground The Child Sex Trade in America,” free of charge.

It will be shown at the Lake Ontario Conference Center from 6-8 p.m.

The documentary film investigates the underground epidemic of child sexual exploitation and trafficking in North America.