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Training on preventing human trafficking offered at MSU

Penny Ronning offers training at MSU on identifying and preventing human trafficking
Rebecca Douglas
Penny Ronning offers training at MSU on identifying and preventing human trafficking

New training on human trafficking focuses the spotlight on buyers, in an attempt to limit the crime in Montana.

Human trafficking is a crime involving force, coercion, or fraud to exploit a person into slave labor or sexual exploitation.

A common misconception is that it does not happen in Montana.

YPR’s Orlinda Worthington reports on a training in Bozeman Tuesday, April 2, that’s working to change that.

According to World Population Review, in just the first three months of 2024, Montana has had 24 reported cases of human trafficking, 22 for sex trafficking.

Wyoming had 13 reported cases, 11 involving sex trafficking.

Penny Ronning is the co-founder of Montana’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

She is presenting training in Bozeman to help community members learn how to identify and report human trafficking… and to change the focus of prevention.

“One of the things that we did for years is put all of our focus on victims which that’s not a bad thing, but what that did was put an imbalance in how we addressed demand, which are buyers. Buyers are what fuels the crime of human trafficking. And what people will hear in Bozeman is the change in the way we’re training on human trafficking and that’s putting the focus on demand,” Ronning said.

Ronning says the training is for any individual, business, agency or organization that would like to learn how to combat human trafficking in Montana.

In Billings, I’m Orlinda Worthington.

The training is at 6 p.m., in the Strand Union Building on the MSU campus.

It is open to the public.

Orlinda Worthington hosts “Morning Edition” weekdays on YPR. She brings 20 years of experience as Montana television news anchor, producer, and reporter.