FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 Connecticut Department of Public Health

May 9, 2008                                                Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                     (860) 509-7270



HartfordThe Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) will hold a free symposium, Human Trafficking: First Contact, First Aid, on Monday, May 12, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Building at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in New Britain, Connecticut.


Human trafficking contributes to acute and chronic health disparities, as well as egregious inequities in liberty and justice.  This symposium is intended to build awareness and stimulate discussion of system needs with policy and program implications.


In 2006, Governor M. Jodi Rell signed into law a measure that addresses the law enforcement side of the issue, helping public safety personnel recognize potential trafficking situations and increasing the criminal penalties for those convicted of trafficking-related crimes.  The new law also provides additional resources to assist victims of trafficking crimes, people often from other countries who were often kidnapped, transported, held, and forced to work against their will, all to benefit their traffickers.


"We often think of human trafficking in terms of civil rights and human rights issue," Governor Rell said.  "But trafficking in persons has a public health impact as well.  I urge interested parties from all over the state to attend this symposium at CCSU."


“I encourage community leaders and organizations to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about human trafficking and the critical issues facing Connecticut,” stated DPH Deputy Commissioner Norma Gyle, R.N., Ph.D.  “I hope that various organizations throughout the state will be represented at this important event.”


The symposium is co-sponsored by DPH and other proactive leaders in human trafficking issues: Senator Andrea Stillman, CT Department of Social Services, CT Department of Children and Families, Central Connecticut State University, Saint Joseph College, International Institute of Connecticut, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and The Trafficking in Persons Council.


This is a free symposium with a continental breakfast and lunch provided.  Approvals for CEUs and MEDs are pending.  Please RSVP before May 9th to Ms. Louise Smith at 860-509-7218 or via email at


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at or call (860) 509-7270.