Demonstrators rally in Missoula for World Day Against Human Trafficking

Posted at 9:36 AM, Aug 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-01 11:36:02-04

Missoula had a demonstration of its own in front of the courthouse on Thursday to recognize the United Nations World Day Against Human Trafficking.

Demonstrators met in front of the Missoula County Courthouse from 4-6:30 p.m. holding signs while passing cars honked as they drove by.

Event organizer Audra Couch said a group of people got together on Monday to plan an event that would bring attention to World Day Against Human Trafficking and its cause. Couch said those who put the demonstration on were working with the Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force as well as The Lifeguard Group.

Couch says that the goal of Thursday's rally was to alert those that human trafficking is an issue that affects people in the local community as well as around the world.

"We want to make sure that people know that this is a problem," Couch said. "It's really easy to look at this on a global scale and think it's not happening here, it's happening in another part of the world, or it's happening in another part of the United States but it's happening here.

"Just thought it would be a great time to come together as a community. In a time where we're all divided on so many different issues, this is something that no matter your political party, no matter where you stand we can all stand together and agree that this is wrong and we need to end it and that's what we're here today to do."

Couch said one way people can make a difference is by volunteering with organizations like The Lifeguard Group of Missoula which announced on Thursday that it was launching a new human trafficking hotline in Montana.

"That's something that a lot of people ask is, 'What can I do?'" Couch said. "While things like (the demonstration) draw awareness the next step is always get involved and that's one of the ways that we're encouraging people to get involved."