“Human Trafficking in Kansas, ” a panel discussion, sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Kansas City Section (NCJW,GKC) will be presented from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, February 19, at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park.
Panel participants include former Kansas State Representative Pat Colloton, who served in the Kansas House from 2004 to 2012 while chairing the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, and the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight. She was appointed in early 2013 as Assistant Attorney General, charged with leading the newly created Anti-Human Trafficking Unit in the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. Colloton currently chairs the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Advisory Board, the official state board for Human Trafficking issues in Kansas.
The second member of the panel is the Deputy Director for the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, Jennifer Rapp. Ms. Rapp began working as the Deputy Director in the Victims Services Division of the office of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in 2013. A fourth generation Kansan and KU Graduate, Jennifer recently returned to Kansas after working in Washington, DC as a congressional staffer for the Kansas delegation and holding various positions in government affairs and public relations in the state of Florida.
The Human Trafficking bill that was passed unanimously by the Kansas House and Senate changes the law for victims of human trafficking particularly those under 18 years of age. Instead of treating them as juvenile offenders, the law now requires law enforcement to take them into police protective custody and puts them into the care of the protective services of the Department for Children and Families. The tools for law enforcement have been enhanced and Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, is tasked with coordinating training on the new law for law enforcement across the state.
“Across the Globe, there are more victims of trafficking than ever before, with an estimated 27 million victims of modern day slavery. It is estimated to be one of the top grossing criminal industries in the world…to the tune of $32 billion every year with cases reported in virtually every country, all fifty states as well as the District of Columbia and the US territories,” according to Barbara Holzmark, who is chairing the event. “Sex trafficking of women and children continues to grow at an alarming rate in the US. NCJW confirms the fact that it is a low risk, high reward business that occurs behind closed doors. There is little available data; lack of coordinated foster care, social welfare, educational, medical and law enforcement services and an overwhelming lack of public awareness of the magnitude of the issue.”
Holzmark is a past President of NCJW, GKC Section and currently Kansas Public Affairs Chair for NCJW Section.
The program is free and open to the public; however, reservations are required by Friday, February 14, 2014. To place a reservation, please call the NCJW Office at: 913-648-0747 or e- mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.