MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. — On Tuesday, representatives from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) came to Mckinleyville in the hopes of educating the North Coast Community on identifying and responding to potential human trafficking cases locally.
"The community up here is in a challenging situation where both human trafficking is occurring and the lack of awareness really impacts those that are being exploited," IRC Anti-Trafficking Outreach Training Specialist Roger Freeman said.
The IRC is working to expand its presence on the North Coast, and recently, a new case manager was hired specifically for the Crescent City area.
"Depending if people connect us with services and we see a need, potentially, we can have even more case managers," Freeman said.
This week, the organization is collaborating with the Yurok Tribe to host various training sessions, like the one held in Mckinleyville on Tuesday.
With the disproportionately high rates of indigenous people going missing, human trafficking is one of many concerns for those involved in the Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Crisis.
"Unfortunately, any population that's underserved or marginalized are more likely to be survivors or victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking," Freeman said.
The Yurok Tribe and the IRC have two more training events scheduled for this week. On Wednesday, there will be a session at 1 p.m. at the Libby Nix Community Center in Weitchpec, and on Thursday, there will be another session at 1 p.m. at the Redwood Hotel Conference Room in Klamath.