Reaffirming its commitment to The Salvation Army’s antihuman trafficking efforts, the Central Territory has revitalized its council on this issue.
Led by Major Katherine Clausell, territorial social justice and city mission secretary, the Central Territorial Anti-Human Trafficking Council recently met. The newly reformed council is composed of 15 members, a small but focused group of individuals who are passionate about responding to human trafficking and are working on it in their communities. Membership ranges from corps officers to divisional social services directors.
Instead of introducing large programs or making recommendations, the new council’s focus is to encourage, equip and resource corps and institutions to incorporate anti-trafficking efforts into their current ministries, whether the food pantry or sunbeams.
“Our corps are doing incredible work already,” said Elyse Dobney, territorial anti-trafficking contact person, indicating that prevention to trafficking is key and where so much of our impact can be. “Our goal is to see our ministries understand the ways in which they are already working to prevent human trafficking and to more intentionally engage in these conversations. While it is crucial that we provide support to people who have already experienced exploitation, we want to prioritize preventing additional people from the lived experience of trafficking.“
The council hopes to foster awareness by facilitating free training that helps corps officers, staff and members recognize what trafficking looks like and understand how to engage effectively and safely. They will be better prepared to respond in appropriate ways as survivors are connected with The Salvation Army. It is anticipated this will increase as more intentional partnerships are developed in communities across the Midwest.
As part of resourcing the field, the council also will create a viable action plan for the territory based on the International Social Justice Commission’s Fight for Freedom strategy.
“I’m so glad The Salvation Army is on the frontlines helping people know they are valued, and that there is a way out,” said council member Major Rhegan Stansbury. “I’m honored to be a part of the Territorial Anti-Human Trafficking Council to continue to educate others and amplify voices that are often dismissed.”