In recognition of her work to prevent and raise awareness of human trafficking, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) received the 2020 Advocacy Champion Award from the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
McKnight sponsored a law (formerly bill A-1428) that requires the Department of Education to develop guidelines for school districts concerning child trafficking awareness and prevention.
“It’s an unfortunate truth that human trafficking can happen anywhere. When a child in my hometown of Jersey City fell victim to this horror, I knew we needed to take action,” said McKnight. “The first step towards ending human trafficking is raising awareness, particularly among our children. Once children know how to recognize a troubling situation, they become less vulnerable.”
McKnight worked with the Department of Education and advocates to create the three-year program for New Jersey schools, which includes training for staff and students on how to identify warning signs and risk factors of human trafficking. The law has since been amended for the program to become a mandate in all schools.
“Our work is far from over,” said McKnight. “I remain committed to fighting against human trafficking and standing up for survivors.”
On Thursday, McKnight was one of several legislators honored at an event at the State House in Trenton, including Senator Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Senator Joseph Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic), and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (D-Morris, Somerset, Union). Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri and Atlantic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Buckley were also recognized.