NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Many people wouldn't think of Connecticut as a place plagued by human trafficking for sexual exploitation or slave-like labor. But the major north-south artery I-95 runs through the state, leaving it far from isolated.
According to Tammy Sneed of the state's Department of Children and Families, cases of underage children caught up in the sex trade are on the rise, as is general public awareness of what is often dismissed as "the world's oldest profession."
"But I also believe it's increasing, particularly with the Internet," Sneed said. "So, a lot of our young people are recruited, and then also exploited; you know, it's coordinated via the Internet."
Less prevalent, but experts say still a problem, is the situation of immigrants forced into virtual slavery as domestic workers or laborers. In some cases, their documentation is taken and held by their exploiters, trapping them through fear of deportation.
The League of Women Voters of Connecticut is bringing experts and officials together on Saturday to explore the hidden problem of human trafficking. The group's Judy Dolphin noted that prostitution is only part of it: workers in other fields can be victims.
She said this can occur "in possibly domestic situations, where people are hiring someone to work in their home, either as a nanny or domestic help; in the landscaping industry sometimes, with people who kind of are stuck."
Tammy Sneed said her department stepped up its efforts to help underage victims of the sex trade in 2008 and has seen its workload burgeon since.
"We were averaging about 30 reports a year and this year, we're already at about 50, so we'll probably double for this year," she said. "And I think that directly correlates with all the training and public awareness."
Judy Dolphin said an FBI representative will be involved in Saturday's conference as well.
"We want to know not only what law enforcement can do, but are they aware of what they can and should do," she declared.
The panel discussion, open to the public, starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology in New Haven.
- Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - CT- See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/35123-1#sthash.fz2MvjGu.dpuf
The Global Water Crisise in the 21st Century
For its 44th Symposium on International Relations, the League of Women Voters of Connecticut will convene an outstanding panel to speak about the quality and supply of water, the potential impacts of climate change on water resources, international collaboration on and engineering approaches to water issues, and the global economic impacts of water abundance and scarcity. The symposium takes place on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 8:30 at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.
By Mike Clifford, Public News Service-CT.
Read the full Public News Service article online.
(10/24/12) HARTFORD, Conn. – Today is Food Day, a national day to learn, eat and advocate for a healthy, more affordable and sustainable food system – and as a way to grow more greenbacks for Connecticut.
Every state is looking at new ways to increase its economic standing, says Cheryl Dunson, president of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut. She says the Nutmeg State is looking seriously at agriculture to help spur growth.
"We do know that food is a big business in Connecticut. It's a $3.5 billion industry and it's directly linked to more than 20,000 jobs in the state."
Dunson says the League is presenting a public forum called, "From Land and Sea: Food for the Good of Connecticut," as part of Food Day events. The forum is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Agriscience and Biotechnology Center in Trumbull. An expert panel at the forum will address food issues such as obesity and food safety from a variety of perspectives.
"Looking at it from a public health perspective, looking at food from a sustainable perspective - to more locally-grown Connecticut food."
She says the League is also teaming up for Food Day events at many of Connecticut's 200 public libraries.
"There is a documentary called 'Food Stamped' at the Hartford Public Library. There's a preschool Food Day story time at the Manross Memorial Library in Bristol; and Guilford Library is doing, 'Teens! Eat Right, Right Now,' a healthy-eating program for teens."
She says many of the libraries are featuring books and DVDs for all ages on food topics.
Details on the forum are online at lwvct.org/events.html.
Click here to view this story on the Public News Service RSS site and access an audio version of this and other stories.
The state, towns and utilities have some organizing, some hard decisions and some spending to do in order to avoid storm damage similar to the $750 million the last two big storms cost Connecticut, according to a public discussion by a panel of experts.
The panel discussion, "Power Struggle: Balancing the Needs of People, Power & Trees," attracted about 100 people to the Darien Town Hall Auditorium.
The panel discussion was organized by the Greenwich Tree Conservancy the Tree Conservancy of Darien, the Fairfield Forestry Committee, the Stamford Tree Foundation and chapters of the League of Women Voters in Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk and Stamford.
Read the full Darien Patch story by David Gurliacci here.
May 15, 2012
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
University Commons - Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06825
Southern Fairfield County chapters of the League of Women Voters and tree-focused groups will sponsor an educational forum “Power Struggle: Balancing the Needs of People, Power and Trees” on Tuesday, February 28 from 7:00-9:00 PM at the Darien Town Hall (snow date March 7). The forum will consist of talks by five stakeholders:
All speakers will address from their perspectives this all- important issue of powers outages, past and future, and what can be done to reduce their frequency and duration. Audience Q&A will follow their presentations. The goal of this timely forum is to inform Connecticut residents on all aspects of this continuing problem that so profoundly affects us. The Connecticut General Assembly legislative session opens today and will be taking up legislation designed to address the reliability of our power supply. Residents will gain information and insight so that they can form educated opinions on the proposed solutions.
Handouts will be available at the forum including contact information of state officials so the attendees, armed with accurate information, can voice their opinions and suggestions based on what they learned at the forum.
This forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, and Stamford, and Greenwich Tree Conservancy, Fairfield Forestry Committee, Stamford Tree Foundation and the Tree Conservancy of Darien.
We encourage all to attend so they can learn and influence the proposed solutions to these power outages.