Duncan leads local effort against human trafficking

SALISBURY — Led by Jim Duncan, a behind-the-scenes effort has started for Rowan County to address human trafficking — when men, women and children are used for labor, trade and sex.

“It’s a worldwide problem,” said Duncan, past chairman of the Rowan United Way campaign, “but my heart is Rowan County. ... I just know I need to do something.

He compared human trafficking to “modern-day slavery.” The National Human Trafficking Resource Center says the practice is a $32 billion industry with 4.2 million victims.

Duncan and others have scheduled a meeting from 10 a.m.-noon June 3 at the Salvation Army headquarters, 620 Bringle Ferry Road, to hear a presentation on human trafficking from the Raleigh FIGHT movement.

The meeting is open to the public.

FIGHT stands for Free Individuals who are Gripped by Human Trafficking.

An official definition of human trafficking is “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of (people) by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

Chasy Morse of the Salvation Army says there’s evidence of sex and labor trafficking, primarily among immigrants, in Rowan County.

“It’s happening right underneath our noses,” Morse said at a Wednesday morning advisory board meeting of the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army will serve as a lead agency in addressing the human trafficking problem, which Duncan first started investigating about a year-and-a-half ago.

Since then, he has met with Lt. Joshua Morse of the Salvation Army in Rowan County and had discussions with the Salvation Army captain from New Bern. Several Rowan Countians also took a trip to Raleigh to meet with Raleigh FIGHT representatives.

In addition, Duncan has met with the Rowan County Department of Social Services, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, Sheriff Kevin Auten and a local attorney.

“We’re starting to put together a team,” Duncan said.

He also has had contact with the Triad Ladder of Hope, now based in Thomasville but looking to move to Salisbury. Duncan said there have been discussions of establishing a safe house here, along with a permanent office, executive director, case worker and minivan.

Duncan personally has been creating a policy and procedures manual and a business plan for a Project Fight team in Rowan County. He also is looking at ways to help train law enforcement in the human trafficking issues.

Josh Morse said Duncan’s and the Salvation Army’s effort is proactive.

“We’re going to try and cut the head off the snake before it’s able to bite,” Morse said.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., voted Tuesday in favor of a series of bipartisan anti-human trafficking bills, which would increase protection for the victims of human trafficking, hold buyers and sellers engaged in sex trafficking accountable for their crimes and streamline law enforcement resources.

“Human trafficking and sex slavery are horrific tragedies that destroy lives and plague communities all over the world,” Hudson said. “Last week, I hosted a summit on this very issue to raise awareness in our community about this practice and discuss ways that we can unite as a community to put an end to this egregious crime.”

The following indicators sometimes are clues to help identify victims of human trafficking:

• The person is accompanied by a controlling person or boss and does not speak on his own behalf.

• The person has little or no control over his personal schedule, documents, money or identification.

• The person is transported by an employer to and from work or lives and works in the same place.

• The person owes a debt to an employer or crew chief and cannot leave a job.

• There are signs of physical abuse, depression, fear, or he or she is overly submissive.

Duncan said there is a National Human Trafficking Resource Center, which can help determine whether what someone has encountered is human trafficking, then help identify the local resources to meet potential victim needs.

The Salisbury Post, by: Mark Wineka

  • Office Locations Push

    Office Name Location Image Map URL
    Washington, DC Office 2112 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-3715
    Fax: (202) 225-4036
    Hours: M-F 8:30am-6:00pm
    Concord Office 325 McGill Avenue, NW
    Suite 500
    Concord, NC 28027
    Phone: (704) 786-1612
    Fax: (704) 782-1004
    Hours: M-F 8:30am-5:30pm
    Fayetteville Office 225 Green Street, Suite 202
    Fayetteville, NC 28301
    Phone: (910) 997-2070
    Fax: (910) 817-7202
    Hours: M-F 8:30am-5:30pm
    Pinehurst Office  Sandhills Community College
    Logan Building, Room 221
    3395 Airport Road
    Pinehurst, NC 28374
    (910) 246-5374
    Hours: Tues/Thurs 8:30am-5:30pm
    and by appointment
    Albemarle Office   Stanly County Commissioner's Office, Suite 9
    1000 N. First Street
    Albemarle, NC 28001
    Phone: (704) 786-1612
    Hours: Third Thursday of Every Month, 9:30am-12pm


    How to use: Insert <span class="EXACT_VALUE_LABEL_AS_ENTERED_BELOW">&nbsp;</span> where you'd like the value to be populated.

    Non-breaking space within span tags - &nbsp; - is required for WYSIWYG.

    (no spaces or special characters)


    Comments (optional)
    repName John Smith  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Haverhill District Office
    1234 S. Courthouse
    Haverhill, CA 35602
    district 21st District of California  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2012  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2012  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2012  
    repStateABBR AZ  
    repDistrict 1  
    repState Arizona  
    repDistrictText 1st  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills  

Footer Survey

*By answering this survey, you are subscribing to my newsletter.