Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Sonoma

January 11, 2009 4:08:01 PM PST
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and other local agencies have proclaimed Sunday "Human Trafficking Awareness Day" to put a spotlight on the issue and to support those who have been victimized by the crime.

An event hosted by the Soroptimist International clubs of Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino will take place at 3 p.m. today at the Finley Community Center located at 2060 W. College Ave. in Santa Rosa.

District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua said the day "serves to increase the public's awareness of these horrible crimes and to help us hold the perpetrators accountable and assist the victims affected."

The district attorney's office and the sheriff's department are active members of the North Bay Human Trafficking Task Force, a coalition that consists of the FBI and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

"It is only too easy to assume that human trafficking is a problem that thrives in other parts of the world," county Human Rights Commission member Judy Rice said in a prepared statement. "In fact, it is a beast which stalks victims right here in Sonoma County."

Rice said the commission is working with various other local agencies and community groups to address the issue.

Today's awareness event will feature the screening of a PBS documentary followed by a panel discussion. Further information is available online at or by calling (707) 996-7517.