The invisible crime

The invisible crime


January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain.

Trafficking in persons is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person to provide labor, services, or commercial sex. It includes elements of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for the purpose of exploitation. The three most common forms of trafficking are labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and child soldiering.

Known as the “invisible crime,” every year millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world including the United States. Many victims rarely come forward to seek help due to language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and fear of law enforcement. Human trafficking has become the world’s fastest growing crime with more than 27 million people enslaved. It is estimated that human trafficking generates billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office will host the combating trafficking in persons event Jan. 17 from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Chapel Fellowship Hall. The purpose of this event is to provide an opportunity for both base personnel and community partners to attend and increase their awareness and emphasize the importance of combating trafficking in persons.

This year’s guest speaker is Judge Robert R. Lung, 18th Judicial District, Douglas County District Court Division 6. In addition to presiding over a diversified district court docket in Colorado for 15 years, Lung provides presentations nationally and internationally on issues such as human trafficking, childhood trauma, and resiliency.

Lung presents to diverse audiences including law enforcement, social service caseworkers, the military, judicial officers, nurses, first responders, and faith-based organizations among others.

In 2016, Lung was selected to serve as a consultant to the Office for Victims of Crime, a division of the Department of Justice’s Office for Justice Programs. In 2017, Lung was designated to serve as a consultant for the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center of the recently established Office of Trafficking in Persons of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the National Advisory Committee on the Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States.

In 2018, he was appointed by the president to serve on the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

Event attendance requires registration and seating is limited. Register at or contact the SAPR Office at 801-777-1964.

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