“Combatting Human Trafficking: A Dialogue Between Two Continents”
Kosovo Delegation in Phoenix, Arizona
By Stacy Moreno, Executive Director of Empower International (CIPUSA Affiliate Office)
Without question, the topic of Human Trafficking is getting a lot of buzz. Commercials are popping up, as well as billboards and other community awareness campaigns. Networking groups, coalitions, speaking events, and professional development are now all over our nation, as well as on an international level. It is easy to focus solely on efforts in your local community, and to follow initiatives that are set up by trusted organizations. What is not always a common practice is connecting with colleagues across international borders to share, train, collaborate. This past November, Phoenix did just that.
We graciously accepted a grant from Open World Leadership Organization (through CIPUSA) to host a delegation from Kosovo that work in combatting human trafficking. This grant allowed us to welcome 5 delegates from Kosovo who work in police investigations, victim advocacy, government oversight, women’s empowerment, and clinical psychology and trauma care, all under the umbrella of Human Trafficking.
Expected outcomes are that local American Host Families get attached and create bonds with our delegates. We also expected to thrill guests with local Southwest attractions, weather, and hospitality. What was not expected was to learn about the tremendous connections that many from Kosovo feel for America. It was an honor, after learning about historical trauma in the region as well as community and government development, to be able to play the role of ambassador to our great state of Arizona. It was also unexpected to have so many local police officers, FBI agents, Attorneys, Social Workers and NGO Leaders to express an interest in a reverse exchange to Kosovo and further develop the dialogue and collaboration.
During the week the delegates were able to not only build relationships, share knowledge, but they obtained rights to access stock photos to use in future trafficking campaigns, information about online trainings to use for staff capacity development, and knowledge and resources to begin to consider online trafficking investigations, which is an area of need in Kosovo. Currently we look back fondly on our week together, and in anticipation for a reverse trip in the near future!
Posted by Lindsey Walsh on
December 13, 2016 at 4:56 PM