Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin Donate 2023 Second Quarter Salary to Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts in the Commonwealth
Governor Youngkin also signed eight bipartisan bills that build on the collective effort to combat human trafficking and empower survivors.
RICHMOND, VA (STL.News) Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin Thursday, June 28th, announced the donation of his second-quarter salary to Operation Light Shine, a nonprofit organization that created and promotes an approach to ending human trafficking known as INTERCEPT, or the “Inter-agency Child Exploitation and Persons Trafficking Task Force.”
“Operation Light Shine is an important partner in the process of eliminating human trafficking in the Commonwealth. Together we are taking comprehensive steps to end the scourge of human trafficking. It’s a cancer, it’s an abuse, and it’s a blight on our Commonwealth, nation, and world,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s a human rights issue that we all know affects every community, every race, every socio-economic group, and it’s on the rise globally.”
“This issue has weighed heavily on Glenn’s and my heart and is one of the reasons Glenn felt called into this level of service,” said First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. “We are inspired by the relentless efforts and innovative work being done by Operation Light Shine to eradicate human trafficking.”
Operation Light Shine created the Inter-agency Child Exploitation And Persons Trafficking Task Force (INTERCEPT) to provide the resources, staffing, and support required to identify and rescue child victims, apprehend their offenders, and reduce the risk through public education and awareness. The state-of-the-art facilities bring together law enforcement, NGOs, prosecutors, victim services, and medical professionals in a multi-disciplinary approach to fight the exploitation and trafficking of children. The INTERCEPT Task Force is a world-class, first-of-its-kind workspace providing all resources required to conduct investigations, plan and run operations, identify and rescue victims, educate parents and youth, process and analyze seized data, and serve its community.
Operation Light Shine’s main purpose is to create, fund, develop and equip INTERCEPT Task Forces. Operation Light Shine provides everything the INTERCEPT Task Force needs, from advanced technology, software, enterprise solutions, and public and private partnerships necessary to support the multidisciplinary model, investigative equipment, coordination between domestic and international HT/CE operations, forensics capabilities, subject matter experts, advanced training, research, and development all the way to covering rent, utilities and office supplies at each task force.
The Youngkin Administration has made a commitment to ending the scourge of human trafficking in Virginia, which is why he signed Executive Order Number Seven to establish the Commission on Human Trafficking Prevention and Survivor Support on his first day in Office. The Commission was created as an advisory commission within the Office of the Governor. The purpose of this commission is to increase law enforcement awareness, empower and support survivors, and enhance prevention education in the Commonwealth.
Last year, Governor Youngkin also signed seven bills that deliver on the Governor’s commitment to enact legislation to combat human trafficking in the Commonwealth and empower survivors. Building on this effort, Governor Youngkin signed eight additional bills today, including a ceremonial signing of HB 1426, which allows the Board of Medicine to require healthcare professionals they license to complete continuing education courses on specific subject areas and directs the board to make the first subject area to be on the topic of human trafficking. The full list of bills signed can be found below.
- HB 1374 (Taylor) Civil action for trafficking in persons; charge or conviction not required.
- HB 1426 (Tata) and SB 1147 (Boysko) – If the Board of Medicine designates a subject area for continuing learning activities or courses, the first subject area shall be the topic of human trafficking.
- HB 1555 (Brewer) and SB 1373 (Vogel) Higher educational institutions; human trafficking awareness and prevention training required.
- HB 1575 (Walker) – Internet Safety Advisory Council; powers and duties.
- HB 1699 (Cherry) Minors; buying or selling, exceptions, penalties.
- SB 1292 (Deeds) Sex trafficked youth; DCJS to administer a two-year pilot program to provide safe harbor for youth.
SOURCE: Virginia Governor