Labor trafficking focus of program Nov. 12

Labor trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery where victims are forced to work or perform services against their will, is to be highlighted at the National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan’s (NCJW|MI) Fall Focus program: “Freedom Denied: How Labor Trafficking Affects Us All”. NCJW|MI is a 128-year-old non-profit organization committed to social justice and safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. The labor trafficking program will be held at The Birmingham Temple (28611 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills) on Tuesday November 12 from 7-9 p.m. with speakers Kelly Carter, Michigan Assistant Attorney General and Senior Attorney Specialist – Human Trafficking Unit; and Danielle Kalil, Supervising Attorney, Clinical Teaching Fellow at University of Michigan’s Human Trafficking Unit.

Last year 1,249 cases of labor trafficking were reported to the Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris, an organization which works to combat slavery.  Common types of labor trafficking include people forced to work in homes as domestic servants, farmworkers coerced through violence as they harvest crops, or factory workers held in inhumane conditions with little to no pay, says the organization. Involuntary child labor is also an important issue, particularly overseas. A recent report by activist group Green America found that major chocolate companies were failing to keep child labor out of their supply chains.

“Labor trafficking is not an easy crime to track as victims may be too afraid to come forward and ask for help. However, we know that it is present in the Tri-County areas of Michigan and we must all do everything we can to stop people having to live in such dire circumstances,” said Cathy Cantor, Past-President of NCJW|MI and co-chair of the organization’s Human Trafficking Awareness Committee.

This event is one of several held throughout the year aimed at educating and bringing awareness to the public on various social justice issues, in addition to providing volunteer opportunities for the organization’s community service projects.

The cost to attend this program is $10 for members, $15 for non-members and $5 for students. The event is supported in part by the Sandra and Alfred Sherman Family Advocacy Fund. To register for Fall Focus, send payment to NCJW|MI, 26400 Lahser Road, Suite 306, Southfield, MI 48033, register online at www.ncjwmi.org or call 248. 355.3300 ext 0.

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