Human Trafficking Presentation Highlights Hidden Crimes

Addy Penniman open us the event, speaking to the audience.
Special Agent for Homeland Security, Addy Penniman speaks to the audience concerning Human Trafficking .

EL CENTRO- Social Work students from the Yuma Extension of Northern Arizona University, hosted their second annual Human Trafficking Awareness presentation at the Department of Social Services, November 18, in collaboration with Imperial County Unity Coalition.

To complete their community exchange project, the social work students put together a four-person presentation, providing situational awareness of this growing problem in the Imperial Valley.

The presentations theme centered around the Blue Campaign, which is the unified voice of the Department of Homeland Security and their efforts to combat human trafficking.

Addy Penniman, Special Agent for Homeland Security, informed the audience on the actions they could take in preventing and solving these incidents.

“Typically in the Valley, we try and have awareness events to talk about this crime. People may not know human trafficking is a growing problem,” says Karina Gutierrez, “We are privileged to be the ones to be presenting this to our community.”

Other speakers included Maria Rodriguez of the Border Community Liaison, Monica Ketchum, Division Chair of Social Services, and Marissa Ugarte,  Executive Director of the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, all presented material in their professional field on noticing signs of Human Trafficking.

“People come to learn about this on-going crime in the Valley, because this topic gets overlooked, but it is important for families to know how they can be safe in their community”, said social work student, Alex Galvan.

The Northern Arizona students thanked everyone for coming and supporting their endeavors, bringing the spotlight to the often-ignored, but growing human trafficking network operating in the Imperial Valley.