Volunteers of America Delaware Valley To Host Third Annual Human Trafficking Summit

Event focused on legislation’s role in creating and fostering policy

GLASSBORO, NJ – Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV) hosted the 3rd Annual Human Trafficking Summit: Forging the Path to Effective Legislation on March 13, 2024 in the Rowan University (Glassboro) Business Hall. The event featured a legislative round table focused on critical concepts and conversations facilitated in years one and two. Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz provided the keynote speech, while various legislators and subject matter experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the State Police, and the FBI participated throughout the event.

“We cannot hope to make positive and meaningful change for survivors and victims of human trafficking unless everyone is at the table,” said Amanda Leese, VOADV Senior Vice President of Reentry and Navigator Services. “More than that, we have to make sure we stay at the table and keep the discussion going.”

The Summit featured a panel of legislators, Senator Vincent Polistina, Assemblywomen Carol Murphy and Andrea Katz, and Assemblyman Cody Miller. Stakeholders had the opportunity to ask questions and provide input as to what survivors, victims, and at-risk populations need to best serve them. 

A key point of the summit was also to encourage stakeholders, law enforcement, service providers, and legislators to discuss how best to use existing resources to serve survivors now. 

At the Summit, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley also launched their Human Trafficking Awareness and Education program, aimed at educating school-aged youth and their parents about the dangers of human trafficking. The program was made possible by a federal appropriate sponsored by Congressman Donald Norcross. It will initially launch in Pine Hill, Voorhees, Maple Shade, Paulsboro, and Gloucester City in partnership with the towns’ local police departments. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is developing grade-level specific educational materials for the campaign.

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About Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV)

Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV) is a local affiliate of the national, non-profit organization, Volunteers of America, and provides essential services to our community’s most vulnerable individuals. Each year, VOADV serves more than 13,000 individuals throughout the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia region and operates more than 40 high quality, outcome-driven assistance programs – from homelessness, reentry,veterans assistance and affordable housing services to specialized programs for victims of human trafficking and individuals with addiction, traumatic brain injury and intellectual disabilities. To learn more, visit: www.voadv.org.

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