Monday, June 01, 2009

A Chamber luncheon becomes opportunity to shed light on human trafficking

A non-profit in the Dallas area recently had a chance to make a presentation at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Mosaic Family Services was able to shed light to on the fastest growing criminal activity worldwide, human trafficking.

The lady who made the presentation to area business leaders was once trafficked herself. From the Cleburne Times-Review writer Matt Smith reports on Sofije Kusari's presentation.

Sofije Kusari, a refugee from Kosovo who fled to the United States in 1985, discussed the growing problem at the Keene Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon on Thursday.

Between 600,000 and 800,000 victims are trafficked across international borders annually, according to the U.S. Department of State. About 14,500 to 17,500 are trafficked into the United States.

Mosaic serves to support, educate and empower individuals and families and to serve as a turning point from victimization and self-defeat, Kusari said.

The organization focuses on refugee case management, multicultural family violence cases, substance abuse, human trafficking and other problems, she said.

Kusari has worked with the organization for several years and has received several recognitions including the DFW International’s Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2000.

Trafficking amounts to modern-day slavery, Kusari said, and affects men, women and children.

Many become victims of commercial sex exploitation, she said, while others fall prey to or are forced into labor exploitation such as domestic servitude, sweatshop factories or migrant agricultural work.

Some victims are forced, other fraudulently induced through promises of jobs or education. Others coerced through threats to themselves or family members, Kusari said.

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