Published May 14, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE – This week, prosecutors and special agents from the Office of the Attorney General joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal law enforcement agencies, service providers and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) to combat human trafficking on Native American lands in New Mexico. The working conference, Sex Trafficking in Indian Country, demonstrates the critical importance of federal, state and tribal entities working together with service providers to attack human trafficking and protect victims on tribal lands in New Mexico.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and the perpetrators prey on New Mexico’s most vulnerable populations,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said. “Our partnerships with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal entities, service providers and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women are key to preventing and prosecuting human trafficking across our state.”
“Human trafficking knows no borders. As such, inter-agency collaboration is vital to our efforts to foster safe and thriving Native communities,” said Lawrence S. Roberts, Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. “I want to thank all of our partners for standing with us in addressing this national issue and working proactively to bring perpetrators to justice. Collectively, we will continue to do all we can in collaboration with tribes in New Mexico and across Indian Country to ensure the health and welfare of those communities.”
“Ensuring the safety of our Native women and children in New Mexico is one of our highest priorities at the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women. The issue of sex trafficking of our most vulnerable, our women and children, extend well beyond any jurisdiction and needs to be addressed at all levels. CSVANW is pleased with the level of collaboration and united front that we have established with our state, tribal and federal partners. We are honored to work in partnership with the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General to take meaningful steps together to address and respond to trafficking of our Native women and children in New Mexico,” said Deleana OtherBull, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women.
OtherBull continued, “Combating trafficking calls for shared responsibility and coordinated action. The past two days of training has been an important opportunity for that kind of collaboration and we must continue to work diligently together. CSVANW remains committed in this work to bring broader awareness about trafficking in our communities and work to ensure the safety of our women and children.”
If you are a victim of human trafficking or would like to report suspected human trafficking, call the Office of the Attorney General’s Special Investigations Division at 1-866-627-3249, text the 505-GET-FREE hotline, The Life Link’s Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative, or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
For more information regarding the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women please visit www.csvanw.org.