BREAKING NEW GROUND IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

FILE UNDER: Intervention, Prevention

An announcement from Guido Hajenius, iE’s Engage Coordinator in Southern California:

I’ve been working in SoCal for five years to advance the right of children to live exploitation-free. Like everyone at iEmpathize, I believe that it takes community-wide commitment to achieve the eradication of exploitation.  In January of 2017, I was invited to serve as the Chairperson for the Training and Outreach Sub-committee of the The Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force.* This new position is all about coordinating collaboration among many important agencies as we share a vision of protecting youth.

Today, I’m proud to announce the release of two new and essential outreach Task Force tools that iEmpathize has created to enhance anti-trafficking efforts in Southern California. First, we’re debuting a new website which the Task Force and its partners will utilize to expand resource to all of LA County. Second, we’ve completed a PSA to engage our community on the issue of human trafficking and how the LA Regional Task Force is addressing this problem with meaningful solutions.

The website will also equip the general public to actively engage by providing tools to Recognize the issue in their own social spaces,  Respond through educational resources and trainings opportunities, and Report using the local hotline number.

Throughout the development process, I connected with key leaders who work with youth and their advocates. This has opened doors for iEmpathize to both use The Empower Youth Program directly with youth, and to train adults to use The Empower Youth Program themselves.

The mission of iEmpathize is to equip adults to empower youth to eradicate exploitation. The more we collaborate with government agencies, NGO’s, schools, and youth service organizations, the more access we have to provide prevention education to youth. Collaborating with the task force is just one example of how we are diversifying the ways through which we can empower adults and youth to live exploitation-free.

 


The Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaborative leadership effort between four primary groups: Homeland Security, CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking), the LA Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Child Welfare SErvices. One of the main objectives of this task force is to increase identification of victims of labor and sex trafficking and to increase services to victims. In addition, the Training and Outreach Subcommittee provides outreach, community trainings, and prevention education with youth and parents. As the chairperson for the sub-committee, Guido coordinates events, organizes outreaches, oversees communication tools, builds collaboration between partners, and facilitates monthly meetings.