Human trafficking summit spotlights growing problem in Rockland County

Those who gathered at the summit at Dominican University in Orangeburg learned the details about how thousands are lured into this modern-day form of slavery.

News 12 Staff

Jan 21, 2023, 9:24 PM

Updated 485 days ago

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A nonprofit organization in Rockland County comprised of female students held a summit Saturday to raise awareness of human trafficking.
Those who gathered at the summit at Dominican University in Orangeburg learned the details about how thousands are lured into this modern-day form of slavery. They also learned instructions on self-defense and advice from law enforcement officers and homeland security.
Human trafficking includes forced labor and people being forced to sell their bodies for sex. It happened to Stefany Ovalles' aunt in the guise of promised job in Europe.
"Unfortunately, rather than actually going to Europe to become a family's nanny, she was trafficked into Haiti and sexually exploited for about a year and a half," Ovalles said.
With January being recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the push is on by advocates, parents and educators to drive home the point that the issue is as real as it is disturbing.
"One out of four victims of human trafficking is a child, and it is prominent here in Rockland County, which is why we're hosting this event," said Wonder Girls co-founder Natalie Naniscalco.
The event was part of the Wonder Girls month-long initiative to keep children and teens safe, wherever they may live.


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