CWA’s Bridge Project Trained 7000 Mexican Leaders to Combat Sex Trafficking

December 19, 2006

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 /Christian Newswire/ — Through a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking, Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Beverly LaHaye Institute (BLI) launched “The Bridge Project” –– an effort that sponsored 17 training sessions that reached 7,000 people across Mexico to train them for leadership in combating sex trafficking.

Bridge Project Director and BLI Senior Fellow Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse reported that CWA’s Bridge Project resulted in over 600 people being trained to lobby for stronger legislation in prosecuting criminals who traffic in persons, produced a shelter manual to guide the rescue of victims, produced a 56-page analysis of the legal aspects of trafficking in Mexico’s Federal Penal Code, collected 1,318 articles and 17 books about trafficking, produced a database on where victims are vulnerable, produced 80 policy recommendations, produced blueprints for a shelter, launched an awareness campaign for tourist industry personnel and published articles on the popular Web site, “Yo Influyo.”

Brenda Zurita, who coordinated the project for CWA, explained, “In April 2005, 16 Mexican leaders came to CWA’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. for a week-long training session. Subsequently, 5 of those leaders –– all members of Red Familia, an umbrella group of pro-family organizations –– were chosen to launch projects in Mexico through their organizations.”

Dr. Crouse said, “This is one of the most satisfying and successful projects that I have ever been involved with. We have laid the ground work in Mexico and our Mexican colleagues are trained and prepared to continue building on that foundation. This is the beginning of the end of trafficking in persons in Mexico. The worldwide criminal networks that are using Mexico as a route to bring victims to the U.S. will find that their way is blocked. The wonderful, dedicated people who worked so tirelessly on the Bridge Project will continue to move forward as modern day abolitionists.”

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.

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