Tag Archives: Human trafficking

Sept. 22: “Honor-Based Violence, A Local Response to Global Challenges”

Inspector Allen Davis of the Metropolitan Police Service in London will visit Metropolitan State University to discuss the United Kingdom National Police response to honor-based violence (prosecution, protection, prevention, partnership) and advise on how Minnesotans can develop a multiagency response to the violence hidden from view in our communities.

Inspector Davis joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1996 and leads the partnership team in the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, a specialist unit of 1,300 officers responsible for child protection and rape investigation in London. He leads Project Azure, Scotland Yard’s strategic response to female genital mutilation and breast ironing, and Project Violet, the response to child abuse linked to faith or belief (e.g. witchcraft and spirit possession). Inspector Davis is also national lead for Operation Limelight, a high-profile, multi-agency safeguarding operation deployed at the UK border. Operation Limelight focuses on a range of harmful practices, including human trafficking.

The program will be 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22
Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul Campus
Library and Learning Center, room 302 (Ecolab)

Click here to download the event flyer

Light refreshments will be provided. This event is co-sponsored by the Metropolitan State’s School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office. Contact James Densley at james.densley@metrostate.edu.

July 25: U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking town hall

Metropolitan State University will host the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking during a three-day visit to Minnesota for a regional meeting to discuss and deliberate ways to meaningfully engage survivors of human trafficking, as well as educate, empower and create awareness for those survivors.

Five members of the visiting council will meet with survivors in Minnesota, as well as with representatives from the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force, the Minnesota Department of Health, the International Institute of Minnesota, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and state sheriffs and county attorneys. Over the course of the visit, from July 23-25, councilmembers will identify and discuss key objectives for the council’s 2017 report.

The regional meeting will culminate with a public town hall, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 25, hosted at Metropolitan State University, 700 7th Street East, Saint Paul.  It will be held on the Saint Paul campus, in the Founders Hall Auditorium.  Expected speakers include State Senator Foung Hawj of District 67, Saint Paul City Council member Jane Prince of Ward 7, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Anne Saunders of the Minneapolis Field Office, Lauren Ryan, JD, director of Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door at the Minnesota Department of Health, and university President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur. The event is open to news media and will also be livestreamed to the council’s Facebook page.

The council was formed in 2015 under the U.S. Department of State to “provide a formal platform for trafficking survivors to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF).”

The council is made up of 11 selected volunteers who are survivors of human trafficking. Its purpose is to provide recommendations to the U.S. government to strengthen federal policy and programming efforts that reflect the best practices in the field. The council meets in person three times annually. An initial report from the council was delivered last year.

IN MINNESOTA*

  • In January 2009, the FBI identified the Twin Cities as one of 13 U.S. cities with a high incidence rate of child prostitution. (source)
  • By very conservative measures, a November 2010 study found that each month in Minnesota at least 213 girls are sold for sex an average of five times per day through the Internet and escort services. This number does not include hotel, street or gang activity. (source)
  • A November 2010 study found that on any given weekend night in Minnesota, 45 girls under age 18 are sold for sex through the internet classified websites and escort services. (source)
  • In 2010, investigators from three states determined that Minneapolis was the home base of a large domestic prostitution (sex trafficking) ring comprised of three generations of one Minnesota family that was prostituting (trafficking) mostly young girls across the United States. (source)
  • About 50 percent of adult women interviewed as part of a 2010 study focused on North Minneapolis stated that they were first traded for sex when they were under the age of 18, with the average age at 13 years. (source)
  • In just one 72-hour sting in summer 2013, an FBI-led operation rescued 105 children and netted 152 pimps in 76 cities nationwide, including four alleged pimps in the Twin Cities.

* “Get the Facts,” Women’s Foundation of Minnesota

Selected nationally, the appointees are from diverse backgrounds and bring personal experiences of human trafficking to the council. They were also selected for their ongoing work and leadership in their local communities against human trafficking.

The council includes Bukola Oriola, a spring 2017 graduate of Metropolitan State University. In 2016, she was appointed to a two-year term on the council. In that year, she attended an inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C., with the council and then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. She also serves as the council’s secretary.

Other councilmembers to attend are:

  • Harold D’Souza; a survivor, spokesperson, and advocate. D’Souza is a senior supply chain associate for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a position he has held since 2008. He is also a co-founder of Eyes Open International, a founding member of the National Survivor Network, and is active with End Slavery Cincinnati.
  • Ronny Marty; an independent consultant and speaker to combat human trafficking.
  • Flor Molina; founding member of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) Survivor Leadership Program and a member of the National Survivor Network. She has advocated for policies to combat human trafficking since 2002.
  • Evelyn Chumbow; a project assistant at Baker & McKenzie LLP. Since 2014, Chumbow has been an advocate with the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST). She was recently awarded the Presbyterian Peaceseeker Award for her efforts to combat human trafficking.

Oriola, a Nigerian-born journalist who came to Minnesota in 2005 to meet her husband for the first time, was instead held hostage and forced into labor in his Ramsey home, and suffered mental and physical abuse over the next two years.

Oriola has spoken about her experience since 2009. In September 2016, she traveled to her native Nigeria to speak out about the problem of human trafficking. Over 11 days, she met with university students and the international media there to tell her story and experience as a victim of human trafficking and to bring a different understanding and dialogue about the forms that human trafficking can manifest.

Bukola Oriola named to U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking

Metropolitan State University student and human trafficking survivor, Bukola Oriola, has been appointed to a two-year term on the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. She recently returned from Washington, D.C. where she attended an inaugural meeting with the council and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The council was established in 2013 by the Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment. The council is made up of eight to 14 selected volunteers who are survivors of human trafficking. Its purpose is to provide recommendations to the U.S. government to strengthen federal policy and programming efforts that reflect the best practices in the field. The council meets in person three times annually. An initial report from the council will come in May. Continue reading Bukola Oriola named to U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking

Human trafficking fighter returns from speaking campaign in Nigeria

Metropolitan State student and human trafficking survivor Bukola Oriola traveled to her native Nigeria to speak out about the problem of human trafficking.

Over 11 days in September, Bukola met with university students and the international media there to tell her story and experience as a victim of  human trafficking. She had been in an abusive relationship by a partner who kept her in forced labor.

“It was well received, beyond my expectation. We had the U.S. Consulate behind us, which made it very authentic. It opened an avenue that gave me an opportunity to share the message,” Bukola said.


“The healing process is long. It’s not a wound on the body, it’s a wound on the mind and it can trigger again and again and again.”

Bukola Oriola


Continue reading Human trafficking fighter returns from speaking campaign in Nigeria

Human trafficking survivor Bukola Oriola takes her story home

buki-happy-new-year-261x300Metropolitan State student and human trafficking survivor Bukola Oriola experienced a great deal of hardship after arriving in the United States 10 years ago. The Nigerian-born journalist came to Minnesota in 2005 to meet her husband for the first time and ended up a hostage in his Ramsey home, suffering mental and physical abuse for the next two years.

Oriola eventually escaped these abusive circumstances and went on to tell her story in “Imprisoned: The Travails of a Trafficked Victim.” She has also raised awareness through public speaking and is now taking her story back to her native Nigeria in hopes of preventing other immigrant women from becoming victims. Her tour, called “Bringing the Story Back Home,” will take her to several Nigerian colleges, as well as speaking engagements at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria.

“People need to know that being abroad does not necessarily mean greener pastures,” Oriola said in a recent interview with MinnPost. “It could be a potential trap to human trafficking or domestic abuse.”

Oriola is in her second year at Metropolitan State, where she is pursuing a personalized degree through the College of Individualized Studies. You can follow her travels on her Twitter page, which features live stream videos of her speaking engagements. For more information visit http://bukolaoriola.com.