FREMONT -- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver the keynote address later this month at a conference seeking to fight human trafficking in Bay Area neighborhoods.
More than 30 local and international organizations fighting human trafficking will attend Freedom Summit 2011 on Jan. 21 and 22 at Harbor Light Church.
"Our aim is to equip every concerned individual "... in a way that empowers communities to be traffic-free," Chairwoman Betty Ann Boeving said in a statement.
The State Department estimates that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are illegally moved across international borders every year.
California, with its major ports and large population, is a hub for both international and domestic traffickers. Sex slaves often are forced into massage parlors, underground brothels or even vans, whose whereabouts are advertised online, according to the Fremont-based nonprofit group California Against Slavery.
The nonprofit is working to get an initiative on the 2012 ballot that would lengthen jail sentences for convicted traffickers from as little as three years in prison to as much as life behind bars.
In addition to Rice, speakers at the two-day conference will include David Batstone, president of the Not For Sale Campaign, and Lt. John Vanek of the San Jose Police Department's Human Trafficking Task Force.
The conference also will include a Jan. 21 screening of the anti-trafficking film "Call + Response," and a performance Jan. 22 by musician Sara Groves.
Registration is $60 for adults and $40 for students; the registration deadline is Saturday. To register or for details, go to www.freedom-summit.org.
Harbor Light Church is at 4760 Thornton Ave.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-353-7002. For Fremont news, go to IBAbuzz.com/tricitybeat.