Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement commending Mr. Roger DeHart, who is currently walking more than 1,000 miles from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Washington D.C., in order to raise awareness about human trafficking:
“I am so truly honored to recognize Mr. Roger DeHart, a devoted public servant who is currently walking from Fort Lauderdale to Washington, in order to raise awareness about human trafficking. Roger is a Deputy Officer at the Broward County Courthouse. He began training for this walk six months ago, and after pooling his vacation time, he set-off from the steps of the Broward County Courthouse to the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Roger’s walk will culminate on May 19th at Union Square in Washington, where he will host a rally with elected officials, his family, friends, and survivors of human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and the United States is one of the top destinations in the world for trafficked victims. Centers of tourism, including Florida, are major destinations for human trafficking victims – many of whom come from our own communities and schools. Florida now has the third highest rate of trafficking in the country, and Broward and Palm Beach Counties rank 1st and 4th respectively for in-state incidences.
“We are seeing a disturbing trend of victims being targeted at schools, where traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims and subject them to compelled labor or commercial sex acts. One year ago, I led members of the South Florida Congressional Delegation in urging the Palm Beach County and Broward County Public Schools systems to incorporate human trafficking education into their curriculums in order to push back against this horrific crime.
“I am awe inspired by Roger’s activism and dedication to raising awareness about an issue that is taking place in every state across our nation. Roger deserves a debt of gratitude for all that he is doing to bring about real change, and working to end human trafficking once and for all. It only takes one person to make a difference. I thank Roger for being an unsung hero to so many, for his service to our community and to our nation.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings represents Florida’s 20th district, and serves as a Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida delegation.