Health Department Activities addressing Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
The Health Department provides training and capacity building internally for education and awareness on sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. In part, this work is in preparation for the Super Bowl in February 2018, but also to address the issue as part of the Minneapolis Blueprint for Youth Violence Prevention. This past summer, we trained over 100 health inspectors both in the Environmental Health Division and our jurisdictional (7 County Metro Area) partners as part of the Multi-jurisdictional Health Department Super Bowl Planning Committee. We also trained over 100 staff with Regulatory Services, as well as advised on educational materials as part of their work on updating ordinances regarding short-term rentals. In preparation for the new school year, over 30 staff in the School Based Clinics (SBC) received training on identifying and working with at-risk and trafficked and exploited victims.
Currently the Health Department has partnerships in place with The Family Partnership’s PRIDE Program, in partnership with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, which is developing community engagement strategies and providing outreach to women primarily along Lake Street.
The Environmental Health Division commissioned a report through the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) to determine the working conditions of erotic dancers/adult entertainers in the adult entertainment venues in Downtown. Part of this report was to determine the significance of sex trafficking in clubs. Preceding this report, Health inspectors did a citywide sweep of adult entertainment venues and found “stains of concern” that confirmed semen present at 11 of 17 venues. Three were suspected, but unconfirmed, and 3 had satisfactory ratings. The report and inspections has prompted City Council to look at ordinances governing the regulations on adult entertainment industries in order to strengthen them to become more effective tools for inspectors.
The Health Department is an active participant and provides expertise in numerous committees and workgroups including the City Attorney’s Juvenile Sex Trafficking Work Group, Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Women’s Foundation Super Bowl Anti-Trafficking Planning Committee to name a few. Health Department staff also maintains relationships with numerous stakeholders including the Hennepin County No Wrong Door Program, the Minnesota Department of Health’s Safe Harbor office, and numerous community-based agencies providing leadership and services in the field.
For more information, please contact Nigel Perrote, Youth Development Coordinator at 612-673-2301 or [email protected].
Last updated Jan 30, 2018