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SMC forum routes attention to human trafficking

Published 9:02pm Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A forum on human trafficking at Southwestern Michigan College was convened Wednesday to shine light on an often unrecognized problem.

The Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Forum was sponsored by the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office, the Cass County Human Services Coordinating Council and Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services.

Presenters and planners at the forum outlined the problem, pointing to real cases from around the state.

“We have victims across the street and in our backyards, and we’re not doing enough to help them,” Martha Gonzalez-Cortes, CEO of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids, said, pointing to a chain of Chinese restaurants in the state that underwent a sting operation.

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