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Minnesota District 3 Youth to Hold Virtual Town Hall on Sex Trafficking

US Congressman Erik Paulsen will join a virtual town hall to answer questions on sex trafficking from youth in Minnesota’s 3rd District.

ST. PAUL, MINN. – Minnesota Alliance With Youth (www.mnyouth.net) announced today, that on April 20at 5:30 p.m., Rep. Erik Paulsen will join with students from across Minnesota’s 3rd District for a virtual town hall on sex trafficking. The virtual event is being held by the Minnesota Youth Council, an initiative of Minnesota Alliance With Youth.

Across the state, youth who participate in the Minnesota Youth Council are holding virtual get-togethers to discuss and explore important youth issues, inviting key stakeholders to provide perspective and information. District 3 youth identified sex trafficking as an important issue to youth in the district, and will be collecting questions and comments from students in communities across the district to ask during the event.

“I always considered sex trafficking a ‘somewhere else’ problem and I was shocked to learn that it’s also a Minnesota problem,” says Micaela Jacobson, a Minnesota Youth Council Member and junior at Minnetonka High School. “It’s a topic that is often swept under the rug and we, as youth, need to address the tragic reality of it. Awareness is a stepping-stone to taking action, so we are planning a virtual town hall to begin discussing this growing concern among youth.”

Rep. Paulsen is the author of the groundbreaking Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act of 2015 (H.R. 159). The bill was based on Minnesota’s Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act, which changed Minnesota’s approach to meeting the needs of trafficked children by recognizing that prostituted children are victims of trafficking, not criminal perpetrators.  Rep. Paulsen will be joining youth representatives of the Minnesota Youth Council, and youth from across the District and the state to discuss the impact of trafficking on Minnesota’s youth, and answer questions regarding the law and current efforts to eliminate sex trafficking in our state.

Both youth and adult residents of District 3 and the general public are invited to attend the virtual town hall. Registration is available online at https://mnyouth.net/work/council/events/.

The Minnesota Youth Council is a diverse network of 72 students in grades 8-12 and adult partners from each congressional district who collaboratively identify and address youth issues by building awareness, making philanthropic investments in the community in partnership with Youthprise, collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Education to identify educational needs and advising and influencing statewide legislation through the Minnesota Youth Council Committee at the State Capitol.

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 Founded in 1997, the Minnesota Alliance With Youth ignites the spark in all young people in Minnesota to become actively engaged, develop strong voices, and acquire the skills needed for success in school, work and life. The Alliance is a leading convener, collaborator and capacity-builder for youth development, working with and for youth to ensure that all young people have access to five fundamental resources proven to ensure that youth succeed. Please visit our website, www.mnyouth.net, for more details.

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