WENY News - Workshop series focuses on human trafficking in the Twin Tiers

Workshop series focuses on human trafficking in the Twin Tiers

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) - All too often we hear about human trafficking, it's a global problem that affects the lives of millions of people around the world, including right here in the Twin Tiers. 

The 2008 award winning film "Taken" draws the picture of a 17-year-old girl who is kidnapped for human trafficking. However, that entertainment is all too real for some people. Local organizers want people to know human trafficking is a major problem that is happening right now in the Twin Tiers. 

"A lot of people think that its an inner city issue, but statically speaking there aren't any differences between rural areas, to areas that are urban," said Candice Ozolins, Runaway and Homeless Youth Counselor and Housing Specialist for Catholic Charities of Chemung & Schuyler Counties. 

Ozolins added, "We're finding statistically that a lot of counties, most counties across New York state are having similar statistics to the number of cases, and that's because human trafficking is a much broader crime that what we've realized in the past." 

January marks "National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month". The Elmira Zonta Club will be teaming up with Catholic Charities and the Jewish Center and Federation of the Twin Tiers to host a three-part series workshop that's free and open to the public. It will feature a showing of the Ashley Judd film "Trafficked." Law enforcement and speakers will also be on hand to talk about what's being done to fight it on a global scale.

"I've repeatedly heard that it's increasing, it's nefarious, it's horrible, and to think of these young children and adults who get involved with it. It's pretty awful," said Maureen Costello, member of Elmira Zonta Club. 

All three workshops will be held at Congregation Kol Ami in Elmira starting at 2 in the afternoon on January 13th, February 10th and March 10th. 

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