TOMS RIVER – Ocean County Library will present two programs about human trafficking in January and will discuss ways that individuals can halt its spread.
The Barnegat Light Area Branch and the Northern Ocean County Branch of the American Association of University Women have chosen to campaign against and raise awareness about human trafficking by sponsoring these programs.
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery whose victims include men, women and children of all ages and ethnicity. It is also a first-degree crime with a penalty of 20 years to life in prison.
There are two types of human trafficking: labor trafficking where people are forced to work for no pay; and sex trafficking.
Because of its geographical location, New Jersey has the potential to be a major entry, transit and destination for human trafficking. And because of the Super Bowl in February, many law enforcement officials fear an increase in sex trafficking in New Jersey.
New Jersey has passed a stringent new law that will aid law enforcement in the apprehension and conviction of those persons caught engaging in it, and have created a Human Trafficking Task Force and website to educate the public in ways to identify and help victims.
Learn more about human trafficking at these two Ocean County Library locations:
7 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 15 at the Long Beach Island branch, 217 S. Central Avenue, Surf City, NJ 08008. Their telephone number is 609-494-2480. The speakers will be Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove and Vilma Applegate, president of the Barnegat Light Area Branch of the AAUW.
6 p.m. Thursday Jan. 23 at the Toms River branch, 101 Washington St., Toms River, NJ 08753. Their telephone number is 732-349-6200 or 609-971-0514. Senior Assistant Prosecutor Roberta DiBiase will speak at that session.
The program is free but people must register to attend. Register by telephoning the branch or on the library’s website www.theoceancountylibrary.org .
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is January 11, 2014.