Over 100 Albuquerque Public School teachers will be receiving special training designed to help spot the signs of human trafficking.
Attorney General Hector Balderas says the signs of human trafficking can exist even in the safest places like our schools. That means teachers are now on the front lines of needing to be able to spot these signs and then report it.
Balderas says Tuesday’s training will arm them with that knowledge.
“Now they will be fully confident that they can also report to CYFD or law enforcement. They are identifying signs of children that might be human trafficking victims. This should raise the level of urgency among other investigators so these cases should not fall through the cracks,” said Attorney General Balderas.
Currently, teachers are required by law to report child abuse. However, Attorney General Balderas believes teachers haven’t been properly trained on detecting the signs of human trafficking as well as who to contact.
Balderas says teachers will be trained on how to identify risks, how to engage students, subtle lines of questioning, and more importantly, what to do next.
He believes this would eliminate the finger pointing game of individuals and agencies passing the responsibility onto other agencies. This would also make everybody accountable in intervening
A new addition to this year’s training is an intensive cybersecurity training.
“The other training that we are providing is a risk-based intervention training. There are so many risks coming through cybersecurity issues right now that we don’t believe teachers are adequately prepared. There can be school shootings, school bullying, and terrorist issues, that come through the internet and we want to make sure educators have the cutting-edge education where they can spot the signs,” said Balderas.
The training will take place at AFT New Mexico from 8 a.m. until noon Tuesday.
It will be offered again in August in Albuquerque as well as in Santa Fe and Las Cruces.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world.
More than 14,000 people are trafficking into the US every year.
New Mexico ranks 50th in the nation in child well-being.