OSWEGO – A Safe Harbour conference, focusing on the issues of human trafficking and exploitation, is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 7 at Lake Ontario Conference Center, 26 E. First St., according to Brian Chetney, executive director, Oswego City County Youth Bureau.
In addition to the Youth Bureau, who secured the event funding grant, this conference is being sponsored by: Oswego County Opportunities, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, and the Department of Social Services.
Funding is by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.
“This conference is intended for school personnel, law enforcement, child protective/child welfare, mental health professionals, medical providers, clergy, hotel management and other professionals working with children, said Mary-Margaret Pezella-Pekow, executive director.of Catholic Charities.” We really want to spread awareness about the issue and information about local programs. There will be breakfast and lunch, along with several workshop sessions. Our keynote speaker is Jasmine Sudarkasa whose presentation is titled: ‘Learning to Work with Commercially Sexually Exploited and Domestically Trafficked Youth.’ Our workshop session presenters are Captain Mark Lincoln, NY State Police; Rev. Daniel LeClair; Michael Dubois, FBI; Sudarkasa; and Todd Bunnenberg, Homeland Security.”
Sudarkasa is the senior training and technical assistance coordinator at Girls Educational and Mentoring Services in New York City.
She conducts trainings and provides technical assistance for legal professionals, law enforcement and social service professionals on the issues of commercial sexual exploitation of children and domestic trafficking.
She received her B.A. with a double major in Political Science and Comparative Ethnic Studies from Columbia University. Previously she has worked in peer facilitation and supplementary education for high school students, specializing in intersectionality and prejudice narratives, which have in turn informed her work to prevent and combat the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of youth.