Oct 12, 2009 12:42 PM by Abby Lane

Human trafficking symposium raises awareness

News First 5 made you aware of human trafficking happening in some El Paso County massage parlors in an undercover investigation two years ago.

After our report, several local groups began shedding more light on the problem. A human trafficking symposium was organized. "Seeing that that goes on right here in the state of Colorado, it makes you wonder how you can't do something," said Jon Tuveson, a member of the human trafficking task force.

Tuveson helped organize this year's symposium Hundreds of people gathered at the Youth With a Mission offices on Saturday in the Springs for the second annual symposium. "We're trying to make it bigger, to encourage people to get involved, to make a difference in southern Colorado"

Speakers came from across the country and right here. "Especially in the 21st century it's hard to believe that we still have human trafficking, basically slavery, as an issue," said Rep. Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs).

Lambert introduced a bill earlier this year to change the current laws about human trafficking. It upped the age of a child from 16 to 18 and increased the penalty for trafficking from a class 3 to a class 2 felony. In May, the governor signed it into law.

"There is support in the legislature for a lot of what they're doing," he said.




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