Posted by Lexa Shallcross
     Dee Dee Foran and Patrick Morgan, two members of Bethlehem Rotary's Action Group Against Sex Trafficking, spoke to fellow Emmaus Rotarians about the hard facts of this criminal enterprise, which is the fastest growing and 2nd largest in the world, and possible avenues of future work to end this slavery. Over 80 % of the people impressed into prostitution are controlled by a pimp who uses both psychological ploys and drugs to control victims. The average entry age is between 12 and 15, and the life expectancy is only 8 more years. Reports are that 100,000 US children are sexually exploited each year.
     Future work for Bethlehem's RAGAST includes building awareness of this serious problem by holding public education events and speaking to other Rotary Groups;  and creating a support network for victims who are rescued or come out of sex slavery., Foran, who founded the action group after learning about the seriousness of the problem at the International Rotary Conference held in Atlanta, GA, noted that a hot spot in the Lehigh Valley is in the motels near the airport. 

     Emmaus Rotarians Byrce Ruggiero, Steve Gould and Bob Rust are on the CP Kids (Community Partners for Kids) which is working to educate children of the danger of strangers.
      Future dates include:   Saturday, November 9, 2019 "From Liberty to Captivity"  which specifically looks at Pennsylvania as a state where human trafficking is flourishing.  It will be held during the Lehigh Valley oAnti-Trafficking Awareness Week November 2-9, 2019 at the Arts Quet Banko Theatre at 12:30.
Thursday, March 5, 2020 Sex Drugs, & Trafficking Symposium at Moravian College, 8:00 to 11:30 with Breakfast, keynote speaker and breakout sessions.