WHEREAS, human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery in which men, women, and children are exploited for commercial sex and labor purposes; and

WHEREAS, human trafficking is currently the second largest criminal industry in the world after drug dealing, and is the fastest growing; and

WHEREAS, victims of human trafficking can frequently be found in domestic labor situations, sweatshop factories, construction, farm work, hotel, restaurant and tourist industries, janitorial work, and the commercial sex industry; and

WHEREAS, traffickers use force, fraud and coercion to draw victims into lives of servitude and abuse, frequently subjecting victims to rape, beatings, confinement, debt bondage, involuntary servitude, and psychological and emotional abuse; and

WHEREAS, systematic approaches to detecting trafficking, creating protocols for assisting victims, providing services to trafficking victims, and holding traffickers accountable are all crucial steps in eradicating trafficking; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress responded to the problem of human trafficking by passing the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000,  a comprehensive statute designed to hold traffickers accountable and provide services for trafficking victims; and

WHEREAS, North Carolina’s location on the I-95 corridor, large military bases, large immigrant population and demand for immigrant labor creates an environment hospitable to trafficking in our area; and

WHEREAS, U.S. government studies estimate that approximately 800,000 persons are trafficked across international borders each year, with 18,000 to 20,000 persons trafficked into the United States and thousands more trafficked domestically; and

WHEREAS, the F.B.I. estimates that 23% of those trafficked into the United States are trafficked into the southeast; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed House Bill 1896 into law in August, 2006, which addresses human trafficking and sexual servitude by increasing criminal penalties, especially for those individuals who harbor children; and

WHEREAS, there are currently two anti-trafficking bills – Senate Bill 1079, sponsored by Senator Ellie Kinnaird, and House Bill 974 – being considered by the North Carolina General Assembly;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Town of Chapel Hill that the Town will support efforts locally, statewide, and nationally to combat human trafficking, including asking local state legislators to support the current legislation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council authorizes the Manager to take steps for the education and training of Town employees to prevent human trafficking and to offer appropriate services for its victims.

This the 7th day of May, 2007.