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Governor to Raise Awareness about Human Trafficking at Upcoming Summit

November 9, 2015

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 9, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – On Thursday and Friday, the first Governor’s Summit on Human Trafficking will take place in Northport to raise awareness and call for action against one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world.

The Office of the Governor and the Not Here Justice in Action Network have partnered to host the conference, which will educate attendees about the exploitation of women and children, discuss labor and sex trafficking in Maine, develop best practices regarding reporting policies and procedures and advance the effort to create a statewide action plan to combat human trafficking in Maine.

Governor Paul R. LePage allocated $25,000 from the Governor’s Contingency Fund to support the summit.

As Governor and throughout his life, Governor LePage has been an outspoken advocate for reducing domestic violence in Maine. Governor LePage also supports anti-human trafficking efforts, signing in 2014 a law making sex trafficking an affirmative defense to the charge of prostitution, preventing victims of trafficking from being branded with a criminal conviction. The Governor also declared January 25-31, 2015 as Human Trafficking Awareness Week.

“No one person, organization, agency or community can eliminate human trafficking on their own, but we can work together to educate our entire population about how we can all prevent human trafficking and support victims, survivors and their communities,” said Governor LePage.

Auburn Police Chief Phillip L. Crowell Jr., who is the cofounder of Not Here, said the objective of the summit is to share information. “Our ultimate goal is to be a signpost directing others towards practical, impactful ways they can help bring about change, and the Governor’s Summit is one of the biggest arenas in which we can do just that,” Chief Crowell said. “We encourage and invite anyone who is interested in hearing more about the issues our region is facing—as well as learning how they can get involved in the efforts to solve these issues—to join us on November 12 and 13.”

Chief Crowell noted, registration is closed with nearly 200 attendees. Not Here Justice in Action Network, a program of The Foundation for Hope and Grace, has been planning and coordinating conferences to raise awareness about human trafficking and inspire collaborate action against the crime since 2011.

WHEN: Thursday, November 12 and Friday, November 13

WHERE: Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center, 67 Atlantic Hwy, Northport

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