Glen Parks, Assistant Attorney General and Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force Coordinator, speaks to all of the high school on the importance and reality of human trafficking. (Johnson Publications photo)

Speaker on human trafficking likens it to modern day slavery

    Imperial community members had the opportunity last week to hear a presentation by Glen Parks, Assistant Attorney General and Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force Coordinator, that focused on human trafficking.
    On April 24, Parks spoke at the Lied Imperial Public Library that was free but not open to children. He also spoke at Chase County Schools (CCS) the next day in a seminar open to the public but geared more towards high schoolers.
    Parks’ presentation at the school was focused on a very real problem that is happening all over the world—the commercial sex market and labor trafficking.
    Parks nailed down the true definition of human trafficking—the buying and selling of a human being.
    “If you want to give it a short hand definition, it is modern day slavery,” said Parks.
    After living in India for nine years and fighting against the open realities of the commercial sex market, Parks said he never would have thought it was systematically happening in Nebraska.
    According to Nebraska’s Commercial Sex Market pamphlet published by the Women’s Fund of Omaha, every month 900 individuals are sold for sex, often multiple times, in Nebraska.
    Just like other businesses, the sex market is being integrated into the technology world. There is now a website called Backpage where there are five sites: Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, North Platte and Scottsbluff, all of which are markets where commercial sex is being sold regularly.
    Parks made sure to mention that just because there are only five cities listed on Backpage, the commercial sex industry in Nebraska affects the entire state including both rural and urban areas.

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