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Byrne on WFAE's Charlotte Talks

January 26, 2016

To commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January,Sarah Byrne was invited onto WFAE’s Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Kelly Harrison joined Byrne for an in-depth discussion to raise awareness about this crime in Charlotte. 

Byrne, Rose and Harrison touched on a recent training for hotel employees hosted by the Charlotte Metropolitan Human Trafficking Task Force. These venues are a common place where trafficking may occur, especially during large events in the city. They shared how Charlotte has become a focal point in the nation’s war on human trafficking, because of reasons which include a growing population, sporting and convention industries, and easy access to major highways.

Each interviewee offered their perspective of this issue. From the legal services provider point of view, Byrne shared how Moore & Van Allen attorneys help victims address their own criminal records and empower them to take back control of their lives by asserting their legal rights. 

They also discussed the importance of teaching community members such as judges, lawyers, teachers, social services workers, nurses, doctors, etc. to help identify those who may be in, or at-risk of, a trafficking situation. They stressed that victims can be of any gender, race, or socioeconomic class. 

Byrne serves on The Charlotte Metropolitan Human Trafficking Task Force led by the U.S. Attorney’s office. The Task Force is comprised of law enforcement agencies – including ICE-Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department –prosecutors, and service-providers.