The 2019 Western Slope Human Trafficking Summit takes place Friday in Rifle. City Prosecutor Angela Roff and the Rifle Police Department are hosting the event.
Law enforcement, lawyers, educators and healthcare workers will gather to hear from survivors of human trafficking.
Beth Klein is a lawyer who helped organize the event. She says the summit is a chance for experts from different fields to learn from each other.
"They’ll learn about how to deal with the mental health issues, and the medical issues, and the addiction issues, and start working together," said Klein.
There are more than 40 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, according to the International Labour Organization. And rural communities, like those found on Colorado’s Western Slope, are often hotspots for human trafficking. According to Klein, economic instability and income inequality found in rural areas are major drivers for trafficking.