Expert in human trafficking prevention starts work with City of Minneapolis
Shunu Shrestha, the City’s senior advisor for human trafficking prevention, has joined the City Coordinator’s Office and will be assisting the City of Minneapolis in efforts to prevent labor and sex trafficking, and address unmet needs of survivors.
Shrestha comes to the City after working for the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault where she oversaw the Duluth-based program’s trafficking program and led the city’s Trafficking Task Force. Before coming to the United States in 2003, she did extensive work in her native Nepal promoting women’s human rights and fighting trafficking of women and girls.
The position is funded for two years through the Pathways to Freedom city challenge led by Humanity United and the NoVo Foundation. Pathways to Freedom is the third challenge of Partnership for Freedom, a public-private partnership created by Humanity United and dedicated to spurring innovation in the fight to end human trafficking.
Minneapolis was one of three cities in the country selected to receive funding to develop coordinated, citywide solutions to trafficking. The competition was open to U.S. cities participating in 100 Resilient Cities, a network created by the Rockefeller Foundation to help cities become more resilient to physical, social and economic challenges.
The City of Minneapolis has been a leader in addressing juvenile sex trafficking and recently collaborated with more than 100 community partners to highlight and fight the problem during Super Bowl LII. Shrestha will help the City build on these efforts and develop a plan focused on labor trafficking-related issues, such as wage theft and exploitive employment practices, as well as on ensuring all survivors’ needs are met.
“It’s critical that we address all forms of human trafficking, including wage theft, and explore new ways to fight these crimes, which have a devastating impact on our most vulnerable communities,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “I’m grateful that Shunu has joined the City to help us create a comprehensive approach to prevent trafficking and support victims.”
“With the arrival of Shunu and funding from the Pathways to Freedom challenge, the City will be able to ramp up its fight against labor and sex trafficking and develop strategies that can provide lessons for cities across the country,” said City Council Member Alondra Cano. “We have an obligation to protect and support victims who have been exploited and do more to prevent these horrific crimes.”
“Minneapolis has become a leader in fighting and preventing juvenile sex trafficking,” said Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal. “Shunu Shrestha will help us build on that work and broaden our focus to develop strategies to combat labor traffickers who are preying on vulnerable workers in our community.”
Published Jun 22, 2018