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Organizations Unite in Support of Local Trafficking Victims

Junior League of Charlotte & Moore & Van Allen launch human trafficking speaker series for Charlotte community
December 17, 2014

The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc., in conjunction with Moore & Van Allen PLLC, launched a human trafficking speaker series on October 15.  Nearly 40 attendees from across the region gathered to hear FBI Charlotte Special Agent Dave Dawson and Legal Aid of North Carolina Attorney Amanda Hinnant present truths of trafficking activity in the local community.  The program was the first in a series of four. 

Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery, often takes the form of forced prostitution, forced labor, and domestic servitude and targets vulnerable individuals.  There are, however, a number of local organizations, including Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC), the Junior League of Charlotte (JLC) and Moore & Van Allen (MVA) that are working to support survivors.

”Our clients are in need of more than just legal assistance.  In addition to assisting a client with legal documentation, Legal Aid connects trafficking survivors to resources within the community to more readily provide them with access to healthcare, safe and stable housing and other essential services. We hope to help them meet basic needs so they are empowered to reestablish a life of their own,” said Hinnant.  

MVA launched its Human Trafficking Pro Bono Project earlier this year, under the leadership of Conflicts Counsel Sarah Byrne, Manager of Diversity and Community Initiatives Stephanie Gryder, and Paralegal Sally Hentz.  MVA takes cases upon referral from identified community partners, to address the expunction of criminal records, protective orders, advocacy of victim-witnesses, and other civil matters.  MVA has also partnered with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina to assist with victim support, and with community organizations such as JLC to raise awareness.

“We connected with leaders involved in the fight against sex trafficking to identify victims’ most pressing legal needs, and quickly learned that our role as lawyers for trafficking survivors will evolve as their legal needs surface,” Byrne stated.  “We look forward to the increased awareness that our JLC partnership will bring about over the course of this speaker series.”

Subsequent program dates include December 17, February 16 and April 15.  Each program will be free and open to the public, however pre-registration is required.  Any individual interested in registering for one of the future programs should contact Stephanie Gryder at (704) 331-2380.