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Some of the participants at Saturday’s Human Trafficking seminar at the Culinary Kids site in Arverne.

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Police officers from the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway joined in the discussion, speaking about modern-day trafficking and answering question.

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Participants listen intently to the program.

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Chef Moses of the Culinary Kids program speaks to the group.

Despite the cold, about a two dozen people showed up at the Culinary Kids tent on Beach 68 Street in Arverne for a human trafficking seminar on Saturday.

The seminar was led by Theresa Racince, a specialist in the area and an Arverne resident with the assistance of the 101 Precinct and others.

January is officially Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and Racine asked participants to reflect on Martin Luther King Day on Monday and the life of a man  who was an activist , who also fought for justice and freedom,

The participants gathered around to watch a screening of  NOT MY LIFE, a short film on the matter.

Police Officer Scott from the 101 spoke on Modern Day slavery and engaged with the community about human trafficking from the viewpoint of a law officer ahd explained that human trafficking is very hard to prosecute because it’s basically an underground crime. Later at the screening Officer Johnson from the precinct participated in a question and answer period.

Sheab Chowdry from Unicefusa.org and global citizen, was the main speaker for the event. Chrowdy told the participants that there is 21 million slaves today, from sex trafficking, labor, organ, and so many other trafficking.

Racine said that it all leads up to one thing: The freedom of people is often taken away because of greed, because of supply and demand, and that trafficking a billion dollar business,

Garry Patrylo who is a pastor at House in the rock church, told the Church we have to do more as a church for the voiceless. Another reflection from Danny ” I didnt really think we had a problem , I knew it was in other countries but not here in the USA.

“Human traffickers are earning billions of dollars on the backs and in the beds of our children,” says the film’s director, Academy Award nominee, Robert Bilheimer, “and yet no one knows this is happening. We have a huge responsibility, right now, to learn the truth and act on it.”

Chef Moses and his wife talked a little about the Culinary Kids and the domestic violence initiative that takes place in the rockaways every forth Saturday. The DV clinic is a safe spot for those who need to come and talk to someone about abuses they may be going through. Resource table, and events such as these will go on throughout the year to raise awareness, and deal with other awareness.

In February, officials will be going into the high schools to speak on teen dating violence. In April, which is sexual awareness month, CK have a survivor of rape coming to speak, and a Rabbi who will speak on child abuse.

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