Human trafficking summit takes virtual setting

Over 200 people were in attendance at the seminar, and over 100 listened to Katariina Rosenblatt’s story on Sept. 28, 2019. Caleb Lunetta/The Signal

The Santa Clarita Valley Human Trafficking Committee is hosting its annual Trafficking Summit virtually, starting Thursday, Sept. 24.

While the pandemic has halted many things, it hasn’t stopped human trafficking, according to advocates. 

“The purpose is to really inform and educate our community about what’s happening with trafficking in our own backyards,” said Dan Broyles, chairman of the committee.

Broyles is a former social worker and continues to hear from old colleagues of trafficking cases in L.A. County, including in the SCV.

“In L.A. County now, the gangs make more money on trafficking than they do selling illegal guns because you can keep reselling that person,” Broyles added. “It’s awful.”

Transitioning to a virtual format, the summit is set to take place over four days, with each 45-minute session spreading awareness in a different part of trafficking.

The series’ schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, Sept. 24 — Understanding Human Trafficking
  • Friday, Sept. 25 — Jerome Elam, A Survivor Tells his Story
  • Saturday, Sept. 26 — What about the decriminalization of prostitution? The implications…               
  • Sunday, Sept. 27 — How businesses can help victims of trafficking

Raised in a broken home by an alcoholic parent, speaker Jerome Elam, president and CEO of Trafficking in America Task Force, is a survivor of child abuse, domestic violence, child sex trafficking and child pornography.

Elam is a fierce advocate for all children deprived of their voice and became a public speaker dedicated to the protection and empowerment of trafficked people. 

Staying true to values he learned in the Marine Corps, he continues to provide a safe harbor for all, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual identity or immigration status. 

The annual Human Trafficking Summit is scheduled 7-7:45 p.m. each night Sept. 24-27 via Zoom. To sign up for this free event, email [email protected] to receive the Zoom link, which is set to be used all four nights.

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