NC State Employees Encouraged to Wear Blue Today In Recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month North Carolina ranks among the top 10 in the nation for reported human trafficking cases

Raleigh, NC

Today, state employees from across the state are encouraged to wear blue in recognition of human trafficking awareness month. Human trafficking involves the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, buying or selling of human beings for labor and services by means of force, fraud or coercion.

Currently, North Carolina ranks among the top ten in the nation for reported human trafficking cases. The North Carolina Department of Administration’s Council for Women and Youth Involvement is encouraging state employees to wear blue to pay tribute to the many survivors as well as victims of human trafficking across our state and to continue raising awareness for this critical issue.

“Human Trafficking is a world-wide crime, affecting millions of men, women, and children each year,” said Mary Williams-Stover, Director of the NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement. “To end human trafficking, we must continue to educate and serve as a resource within our state and community.”

January 24 will serve as a day of recognition and is an extension of the national Blue Campaign, established by the US Department of Homeland Security. Each year, in acknowledgement of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the Campaign urges everyone to wear blue to promote and educate others on human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a borderless crime, depriving victims of human dignity and freedom, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, citizenship or socioeconomic status. To combat this issue, legislation has been enacted in recent years mandating that trafficking prevention and awareness be included in the sexual health education curriculum and training on trafficking to all public-school personnel.

To heighten awareness, Governor Roy Cooper signed a proclamation declaring January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Today, the NC Executive Mansion, State Capitol, Administration Building and Capehart Crocker House in downtown Raleigh will be adorned in blue lighting in acknowledgement of Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

The NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement will also hand out blue ribbons and educational materials on human trafficking prevention today in the Administration Building’s 1st floor lobby between the hours of 8 - 9:30 a.m.  and 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The Administration Building is located on 116 W. Jones St. in downtown Raleigh.

“There is so much we can do to help stop human trafficking from occurring in our state,” said Kiricka Yarbough Smith, Human Trafficking Program Director for the NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement. “One way is learning key indicators to help identify a potential victim. You can also make a difference by volunteering and supporting anti-trafficking efforts in your community.”

If you believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, report your suspicions to law enforcement or call the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “BEFREE” to 233733. To learn more about the NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement’s Human Trafficking Prevention Program, please visit ncadmin.nc.gov/human-trafficking for more information.

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About DOA

Established in 1957, the Department of Administration acts as the business manager for North Carolina state government. Under the leadership of Secretary Machelle Sanders since appointed by Governor Roy Cooper in 2017, the department oversees Government Operations and advocacy programs. The department's advocacy programs provide advocacy, assistance and services to diverse segments of the state's population that have been traditionally underserved.

About CFWYI

The North Carolina Council for Women and Youth Involvement (CFWYI) is a division of the North Carolina Department of Administration.  The mission of the Council is to advise the Governor, state legislators and state leaders on issues that impact women and youth.

 

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