Solicitor Stone honors anti-trafficking advocate
HILTON HEAD ISLAND – Solicitor Duffie Stone surprised the founder and past president of an anti-human trafficking coalition with an award during the Hilton Head Island Town Council meeting on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
Janice Dyer of Hilton Head Island founded the Lowcountry Coalition Against Human Trafficking in 2009 after attending an eye-opening Zonta International conference in Key West, Fla. At the time, few locally even knew what human trafficking was, let alone that it is something that can and does occur in the Lowcountry.
Five years later, South Carolina has one of the strongest state laws in the country, and Beaufort County has an organized coalition consisting of government agencies, healthcare providers, non-profits and everyday citizens galvanized to address and prevent it.
It should be noted that the human trafficking bill was stalled in the legislature with virtually no chance of being passed before Dyer and her allies got their hands on it. Within several months, it was signed into law by the governor.
The state that once had one of the worst laws in the nation is now at the forefront of the fight against modern day slavery. That is a testament to Dyer’s commitment to the issue, her tenacity and her ability to bring people together for a common cause.
LCAHT held its first meeting in 2010, and continues to host large educational sessions that feature experts on the subject. The group also sends speakers to local community organizations throughout Beaufort County. A major focus this year is educating children how to avoid becoming a victim of human trafficking and other related crimes, which is something we should all be concerned about given the role the Internet and social media now play in youngsters’ lives.
Dyer stepped down as president earlier this year, but remains a member of the board of directors and coordinates the group’s speakers and student outreach.
Click below to view Stone's presentation (courtesy of the Beaufort County Channel):