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Iowa Trafficker Sentenced to 22 Years

Christmas treeThe (NAHT) thanks all of our 1500 blog post/ newsletter subscribers for your support of our goal to end human trafficking/modern slavery in all its forms in Iowa. We wish you a joy-filled, healthy, and blessed holiday season and a happy and healthy new year, 2023.

Governor's Proclamation Signing Event January 12th Declaring January 2023 “Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month” and You are Invited!

The NAHT will host a public proclamation signing by Governor Kim Reynolds, designating January 2023 as “Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month”. The proclamation declaration will take place on Thursday, January 12th at 11:00 a.m. in the Rotunda of the State Capitol Building in Des Moines. To download a copy of the “Save the Date” flyer, please tap here.

During “Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month”, the NAHT asks all modern abolitionists to recommit themselves to eradicating the evil of enslavement. Human trafficking is a modern form of the oldest and most barbaric type of human exploitation. It has no place in our state. During the month of January 2023, let's not simply reflect on this appalling reality. We must also pledge to do all in our power to end the horrific practice of human trafficking/modern slavery that plagues innocent victims around the world.

Save the Date Jan. 12Worldwide, an estimated 50 million people are currently victims of human trafficking. Thats a 10 million increase since 2019. Human traffickers prey on their victims by promising a life of hope and greater opportunity while delivering only enslavement. Instead of delivering people to better lives, traffickers profit from the labor and toil of their victims, who they force – through violence, drugs, and intimidation- to work in the sex trade in hotels/motels and illicit massage businesses, and as slave laborers, in factories, on farms and fishing vessels, in private homes, and in countless other industries.

Six 2023 Outstanding Anti-Trafficking Service Awards will also be presented by the Governor and NAHT on January 12th, immediately following the proclamation signing. We will announce these six anti-trafficking heroes in the January blog post/newsletter.

Ask Your City Council to Adopt a Local Proclamation for January 2023

Another important request to all Iowa anti-trafficking advocates is to approach your city council and/or county board of supervisors about declaring January 2023 as Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. A copy of an example fill-in-the-blank proclamation that you could propose to be adopted is found by clicking here: Example Proclamation (PDF)

Once your city and county local governments vote to adopt the proclamation, they will publically present it to you at a meeting. You can attend the meeting and interact with your council or supervisors. What a great way to create public and recognition of this growing problem across Iowa and within your own home community.  An example proclamation acceptance script for you to respond to your city council is found by clicking this link: Sample Acceptance Script (PDF).  When you speak to the city/county please share data as shown in the chart below.

2021 Iowa Human Trafficking Statistics

2023 NAHT Legislative Priorities

The Legislative Advocacy Committee of NAHT met on December 5th to discuss important legislation on human trafficking to set before the 2023 legislature. Safe Harbor is number 1 on the Networks priority legislation.

  1. Safe Harbor legislation to divert child victims away from delinquency charges and locked detention and into trauma-informed care services.
  2. Expungement of crimes committed by adult survivors which occurred while being trafficked. This would include vacatur to reverse the actual adjudication or finding of guilt.
  3. $5m for victim services funding with human trafficking added to the language of the appropriations bill.

Other legislation priorities the NAHT will support:

  1. Permit exceptions to the $150k restitution law for survivors of human trafficking and other victims of violence and assault.
  2. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa's school education bill to require all public schools to implement human trafficking and child sex abuse prevention and education.
  3. HF 2066 (Cell Phone Safety Feature On in Iowa).

For a full legislative report prepared by Maggie Tinsman, Chair of the NAHT Legislative Advocacy Committee, and the justification for these proposed legislative priorities and the outcome of the three Safe Harbor workgroup meetings please tap here.

Wednesday, January 11th is Wear Blue Day

Wear Blue DayOn Wednesday, January 11th we ask that you wear blue to show your support for human trafficking awareness. The color blue is the international color of human trafficking awareness. The created this initiative to draw attention to this horrific crime. The NAHT is asking all anti-trafficking advocates to wear blue clothing in order to increase awareness. We also ask you to encourage your friends, classmates, and family to participate and share pictures of you wearing blue on with the #WearBlueDay hashtag. You can find more information about this here: Wear Blue Day 2023

Job Openings for School-Based Trafficking Prevention/Education Grant Program

Stephanie Olson is a new member of the NAHT Board of Directors and recently shared a little bit about the Set Me Project (she is the founder and CEO), which does trafficking prevention education and has traditionally gone into schools. This fall they have switched to handing out their curriculum to counselors and social workers in the schools and allowing them to present it in an effective way with help from the Set Me Free Project.

Set Me Free recently received a portion of a research grant from the CDC, which will be led by the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Part of the grant project will be a rigorous evaluation and review of the Set Me Free school curriculum and the creation of a brand new perpetrator prevention curriculum. Set Me Free will also be working with the Des Moines Public School system as part of the grant research project. The grant project will also include community forums. To implement this grant project, the University of Nebraska Lincoln is looking to fill a full-time coordinator position based in Des Moines, and the Set Me Free project is looking to hire educators for this program.

Iowa Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Federal Prison for Human Trafficking

Last month (Nov. 2023) the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa announced that Kachimbe Mukanzu, 35, of Iowa City, was sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion and felon in possession of firearm. Mukanzu was sentenced on October 26, 2022, to 22 years in prison.

According to the United States Attorney's Office Mukanzu recruited several young women and sexually exploited them by force, fraud, and coercion. Mukanzu posted advertisements and set up profiles of the victims advertising sex acts for money. Mukanzu gave the victims drugs and profited from their actions. On multiple occasions in 2018, Mukanzu trafficked the victims across state lines.

Mukanzu pleaded guilty to the charges on February 4th, 2022. The case was investigated by the Iowa City Police Department and FBI. The agencies were assisted by the Coralville Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff's Office, and University of Iowa Department of Public Safety. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District.

How You Can Spot Human Trafficking

Signs that a person is being trafficked can include working excessively long hours, unexplained gifts, physical injury, substance abuse issues, running away from home, isolation from others, or having a person in their life-controlling them or monitoring them closely. Victims particularly susceptible to being trafficking include those with a history of physical or sexual abuse, uncertain legal status, and dependency on controlled substances.

Individuals who purchase sex from minors or from those who are otherwise exploited for commercial sex are also subject to prosecution for sex trafficking under federal law if they knew or were in reckless disregard of the fact that they were minors or that force, fraud, or coercion was used.

If you see something suspicious, call the national human trafficking hotline at 888-3737-888 or the Iowa Victim Services Hotline at 800-770-1650.

Information, Articles, and Resources

 

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials online course is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.