May 29, 2014 — In a standing-room only event that advanced its mission to place health equity front and center in the South Florida community and beyond, the SONHS’ Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research: El Centro co-hosted The Human Trafficking Community Resources Awareness Symposium on Wednesday, May 28 2014 from 9:30 am to 12 noon at the School of Nursing and Health Studies. The session educated providers and advocates on how to treat and provide effective services to victims of human trafficking, while raising awareness on the available resources in our community. The half-day initiative kicked off with an informational session on the grave issue of trafficking human beings for both sexual and labor purposes, followed by a series of presentations delivered by agencies specializing in services to victims of human trafficking many which are community partners of El Centro, including Americans for Immigrant Justice a number of Miami Dade governmental entities, including the Health Department, Human Trafficking Coalition, and the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center, Violence Prevention and Intervention Division, Community Action and Human Services Department, Miami Dade County. Also on hand were representatives of Miami’s AGAPE Family Ministries, Family Counseling Services/Journey Institute, the Federal Law Enforcement Task Force, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the International Rescue Committee, Kristi House’s Project GOLD, the Legal Aid Society, the Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office, State Attorney’s Office, Miami Dade County’s Refugee Health Assessment Program, and The Life of Freedom. The activity, which was free and open to the public, culminated with a question and answer session. It is the first of numerous planned community events that will shed light on the issue of human trafficking in Miami Dade.
Sharing practices for providing effective treatment to victims of human trafficking connects directly to El Centro’s commitment to reduce health disparities in vulnerable populations, given the overlap between the issue of human trafficking and conditions such HIV/STDs, substance abuse, and domestic violence, all major areas of research targeted by El Centro as conditions that disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities.
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