In 1865, Congress passed the 13th amendment to the constitution, officially abolishing slavery in the United States. Nearly 150 years later, slavery (now known as human trafficking) is the second-largest criminal industry in the world behind drug trafficking, according to 2014 statistics.

On Tuesday July 29 at 7 p.m., First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Paris, will host a free public forum on the current-day problem of human trafficking. All members of the community, business owners, teachers and concerned citizens are invited to attend. Presenters of the program will be State Representative Sannie Overly, and Marissa Castellanes, the MSW Human Trafficking Program Manager with the Case Management and Family Support Department of the Catholic Charities of Louisville.

Since 2007, Kentuckians have been working to enact laws and provide adequate advocacy for the citizens of the Bluegrass and immigrants who have been affected by human trafficking. According to lawmakers, human rights activists, faith-based communities and others, there is still much work to be done. Some of this work includes teaching the public what human trafficking looks like, how it impacts the Bluegrass state, and what concerned communities can do to help fight this modern-day slavery. Representative Overly and Castellanes believe that empowering people with knowledge can help solve current problems and prevent future issues.

First Christian Church is located at 911 High Street in Paris. For more information call 987-3940.