Representative Gilchrest hosts discussion on the role of race in child trafficking

February 19, 2020

Featuring legislators and advocates, the two-hour presentation took place in Room 2D of the Legislative Office Building.

HARTFORD, Conn. — This morning's event titled "Race and Human Trafficking in Connecticut" covered the disproportionate representation of children of color reported at high risk of or confirmed to be trafficked in the state.

State Representative Jillian Gilchrest (D-West Hartford), State Representative and Labor and Public Employees Committee Chair Robyn Porter (D-New Haven), Erin Williamson of Love146 and Yvette Young of the Village spoke. Steven Hernández of the Connecticut Trafficking in Persons Council (TIP) opened the discussion.

"Today's forum was just the beginning of a much-needed conversation about race and child trafficking," Gilchrest said. "Thank you to our panelists for taking the time for this important discussion. I am committed to collaborating with members of the legislature on policies to put an end to child trafficking in Connecticut."

“The numbers don't lie," Porter said. "The fact that children of color are at higher risk to be trafficked in our state is a tragic reality we can no longer ignore. As legislators, as educators, as advocates, we must act."

"Racism exists in the DNA of our nation and human trafficking is a manifestation of that racism," Young said. "We must tackle the systemic factors that are leading to the victimization of children of color.”

“We cannot state our commitment to addressing social issues such as trafficking without also being fully committed to discussing and tackling race and racial disproportionality,” Williamson said.

The presentation, which took place from 10 a.m. to noon, was sponsored by TIP.