Tuesday — February 11, 2020
Safe Harbor has been implemented for five years to create a no wrong door system of services and response for sexually exploited and trafficked youth. The purpose of this two-day conference is to take Safe Harbor to the next level in Minnesota by enhancing relationships and collaboration between all individuals or agencies working against labor trafficking, sex trafficking or sexual exploitation while including survivors as partners in the response. This conference will help to define the vision for the future of Safe Harbor in Minnesota while continuing to embody the core values of Safe Harbor.
9:45 — 10:45 a.m. | Opening remarks — A decade later: Safe Harbor’s evolution in ending sexual exploitation and abuse
John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi will talk about the early days of the movement for Safe Harbor in Minnesota, including the press conference he hosted in February 2011 which helped galvanize awareness and momentum. There, County Attorney Choi and several colleagues announced they would no longer charge youth who were being trafficked as delinquents, but instead, adopt a victim-centered approach, recognizing them as children in need of protection and services. He then focused his leadership collaborating with the broad coalition of advocates, law enforcement partners and victim/survivors marshalled by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to raise awareness, pass the Safe Harbor law, change systems of response and secure sustainable funding to provide the resources victim/survivors need to heal and rebuild their lives. County Attorney Choi will reflect on this journey, the victories we’ve won together, and the path that lies ahead in combatting sex trafficking and other forms of domestic and sexual violence in Minnesota.