The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hear testimony this afternoon from experts on how to combat human trafficking.

Senator Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ)

U.S. Sen. Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ) has taken the lead on the issue and he says there will be a New Jersey angle added to today’s meeting.

“The hearing is designed to bring attention to the issue and to combat human trafficking at all levels, the federal level, the state level and the local level,” explains Chiesa. “Really what human trafficking is, is modern day slavery and it’s something that ruins young lives and is much more pervasive than anybody really realizes.”

Authorities haven’t done a good enough job so far in cracking down on human trafficking says Chiesa. He says it’s not for lack of effort or sincerity. It’s the type of crime law enforcement needs to learn more about. He says education may make it easier for officials to recognize human trafficking when working a crime scene.

“We’re lucky today,” says Chiesa, “We’re going to have a real New Jersey flavor to the committee hearing. We’re going to have the former (NJ) Attorney General John Farmer. John will bring his expertise and his passion to this issue. We’ll also have Dan Papa who is a social studies teacher at Jefferson, N.J. Middle School. He has a project called Project Stay Gold. It is a project that is designed to bring awareness and attention to human trafficking especially when New Jersey’s about to host the Super Bowl when we know historically from Indianapolis, Dallas and New Orleans all of those communities experienced a spike in human trafficking.”