Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Boston City Council passes a resolution to prevent human trafficking

Kellyn Taylor

The Boston City Council passed a docket in favor of increased work and human trafficking awareness at its meeting last week.

The docket was sponsored by Council President Ruthzee Louijeune and is designed to increase public awareness and work on a multidisciplinary approach involving education, victim support, law enforcement training, and legislative action. This comes after a brothel in Boston was busted last November, leading to calls for increased accountability citywide surrounding the issue.

“There is work that we still need to do to combat human trafficking, which oftentimes isn’t talked about,” said Louijeune. “It’s a lot of people who are suffering in silence as a result of human trafficking, especially our women and our young girls.”

“One thing that we always seem to forget is that human trafficking happens everywhere,” said Councilor Liz Breadon.

Councilors stressed the importance of humanizing the issue of human trafficking, stating that for many, it can become just a number and easily ignored.

“Human trafficking is not just a statistic; it’s a reality that affects millions worldwide, including right here in our city,” said Councilor Brian Worrell. “We cannot afford to ignore the gravity of this issue as public servants.”

For students, the conversation surrounding human trafficking is vital, said the council. As a major college town, concerns over roofing drinks have risen after a spike in cases was reported last year.

Councilor Sharon Durkan pointed out the need for the council to work on protecting students, as Boston is their home for the majority of the year. To support his statement, Durkan offered up testimonials from students throughout the city.

“We all have no idea how close many members of our family and many members of the public have been to being part of this,” Durkan said. “Every single person deserves to be able to go out and have fun and get home safely.”

Other vulnerable groups in the city are the youth and immigrants, particularly those who do not speak English as a first language.

“There are a lot of folks who don’t speak English who are coming from different parts of the world uplifting those folks who were totally in a whole different country navigating the scary situation,” said Councilor Julia Mejia.

Mejia also stressed the importance of destigmatizing the topic of human trafficking. 

“There’s a lot of stigma, and so as we continue to file resolutions and uplift, I think it’s also important for us to acknowledge the stigma that comes along with that,” Mejia said.

Along with increased awareness, councilors offered thanks to service industry workers, particularly Uber and other lift drivers and hotel staff, who play a vital role in identifying human trafficking situations.

“We have to make sure that the work is centered around all of the populations that are being violated,” said Murphy

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Iselin Bratz, Staff Writer

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