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Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro announced the Dutchess County Task Force Against Human Trafficking has launched a Youth Art Competition and is now accepting students’ entries depicting human trafficking.
Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring or transportation of people within national or across international borders for the purpose of commercial exploitation. Statistics regarding human trafficking are often underreported and difficult to calculate since those being abused, particularly youths, are very unwilling to self-report they are being trafficked due to fear of retribution. Moreover, young victims commonly do not even know they are being trafficked until they are in a system of care.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Protecting Dutchess County’s children is a top priority, and one of the best ways to do that is to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking. Efforts such as the Youth Art Competition increase consciousness about the issue – not only to the general public but, just as importantly, to the children we seek to safeguard. I urge students to be creative, submit entries for the competition and talk to adults they trust – be it parents, teachers or clergy – about the topic and how to stay safe.”
The Youth Art Competition is open to all school-aged children in Dutchess County, and entries will be accepted through May 1st. The winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card, funded through a New York State Safe Harbour grant, and the winning artwork will be used in the Dutchess County Task Force Against Human Trafficking’s awareness materials.
Among the guidelines for entries:
Entries can be mailed to:
Human Trafficking Coordinator
c/o The Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse
35 Van Wagner Place
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Sabrina Jaar Marzouka, Commissioner of the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services, said, “We invite students to learn about the topic of human trafficking and express their awareness through art. By taking part in this Youth Art Competition, students can help educate their peers about the subject, possibly saving someone they know from the perils of human trafficking.”
In 2014, the Dutchess County Task Force Against Human Trafficking was established by Dutchess County Legislature, in partnership with County Executive Molinaro, bringing together the County Department of Community and Family Services, the Department of Behavioral & Health, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies to understand and respond to the problem of individuals being trafficked within the county.