January 15, 2021
For the second consecutive year, Mary Estimé-Irvin, the City of North Miami’s District 3 Councilwoman, addressed the growing crisis of human trafficking head-on, during a virtual awareness rally, on Wednesday, Jan. 13th.
More than 200 teens representing five North Miami area private and public schools logged in for this special edition of Estimé-Irvin’s Virtual Talks Series. The objective of this session titled, Human Trafficking in the Time of COVID, was to heighten student awareness, while also increasing actions toward safety and active prevention among teens. The virtual rally educated students on various forms of human trafficking, signals to identify perpetrators, how to protect themselves against victimization and crime reporting. Students also learned about available resources and services.
In 2019, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported that Florida had 896 trafficking cases, including 640 sex trafficking cases, 46 sex and labor trafficking cases, 128 labor trafficking cases and 82 miscellaneous forms of trafficking.
“Human trafficking is an unfortunate reality; but as a mother, a neighbor and an elected official, it’s a tough conversation that I will boldly take on,” said Estimé-Irvin. “How will we keep our children and the children of our community safe if we don’t educate them? Our community offers a number of resources to help us win this fight. Each year, the youth of our community engage us with meaningful questions at this human trafficking awareness event. As long as the children continue asking questions about this issue, I vow to provide them with answers and resources.”
The webinar’s guest speakers included human trafficking advocates from the State Attorney's Office, the North Miami Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Division, the Citrus Health Network Chance Program, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, a local human trafficking survivor and U-Turn Youth Consulting.
Estimé-Irvin has been an active advocate in the fight against human trafficking. In 2020, Estimé-Irvin was appointed by State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to the Human Trafficking Policy Institute to lead the charge against this crime in North Miami and throughout Florida.
To learn more, please email District 3. Media inquiries may be forwarded to Eunicia Baker.