Bridges of Understanding

Using Cultural Competency in the
Fight Against Human Trafficking

Do you want to support the fight against human trafficking in Oklahoma? Here’s another way you can help.

Your Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association is organizing a Cultural Competency Committee in support of Oklahoma’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

Our mission is to assist law enforcement and social service organizations as they carry out “rescue and restore” operations for survivors of human trafficking. We intend to create a dynamic database of community-specific resources that may be used in support of survivors — focusing especially on survivors who are foreign nationals.

We recognize that one of the greatest challenges in any rescue and restore operation is to reach out effectively to human trafficking victims who may have limited English language skills and who may be unfamiliar with American laws, customs, and culture.

Lili Samad, a survivor of international
labor trafficking, holds her 3-year-old
daughter. Photo by Jason Winshell /
SF Public Press.
Read her story.

We will build bridges of understanding to span the culture gaps that separate human trafficking victims from the local people and organizations who want to help them.

The next meeting of our Cultural Competency Committee will be:

Friday, April 4th — 1 to 3pm
Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board
3813 N. Santa Fe, Suite 135
Oklahoma City, OK   73118

Phone (405) 622-2026

If you’re interested in supporting our work, you are welcome to attend the meeting. We need more volunteers — people who are smart, energetic, aware of community resources, etc. We’re looking for people who can reach out to community partners through email and social media — people who can make phone calls, send email messages, manage a database, put up a website, and so on.

Even if you can help in a small way, you will be welcome to join our committee. To join, please send an email message to Bill Bryant at

(You don’t have to be a member of the UN Association to participate in this activity).

For some helpful background information on human trafficking in Oklahoma, please see these articles:

“Evolution — How Oklahoma’s New Human Trafficking Laws Evolved From a UN Treaty on International Crime”


“A Crime That Shames Us All”

How the United Nations
Defines “Human Trafficking”

Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them.

Smuggling migrants involves the procurement for financial or other material benefit of illegal entry of a person into a State of which that person is not a national or resident.

Virtually every country in the world is affected by these crimes. The challenge for all countries, rich and poor, is to target the criminals who exploit desperate people and to protect and assist victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants, many of whom endure unimaginable hardships in their bid for a better life.

— United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

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