Coffee & Conversation: Human Trafficking and Labor Exploitation in New Hampshire


Thursday, November 9, 2023

Human trafficking is an urgent social issue affecting people across the globe, in all 50 U.S. states, and in all 10 counties of New Hampshire. Though New Hampshire was one of the first states to criminalize human trafficking activity—the exploitation of a person through labor, services, or a commercial sex act by force, fraud, or coercion—the number of human trafficking cases in New Hampshire has increased in recent years. 

Our November Coffee & Conversation featured Meg Chant, Program Director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Bryan Bessette, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Freedom Cafe. Meg and Bryan discussed what they have learned about human trafficking and labor exploitation in New Hampshire from their collaborative work with the NH Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force, as well as the next steps to address vulnerabilities in the state.

About the Speakers

Meg Chant in front of dark blue wall.

Meg Chant is a Program Director at the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. In this role she provides strategic oversight for Coalition programming with a particular focus on Prevention, Human Trafficking, and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program. Meg liaises with partners and stakeholders around the state to ensure that the Coalition’s mission and work are represented and integrated across our communities. As part of her role, Meg serves as the Director of the NH Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force.

Meg has previous experience in direct service with both victims of crime (with the NH Department of Corrections) and refugees/asylum seekers (with the British Red Cross). Meg has a BA in Politics and French from Bates College and an MA in Law from the University of Bristol (UK).

 

Bryan Bessette in front of The Freedom Cafe.

Bryan Bessette is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Freedom Café, a non-profit based in Durham, NH. The Freedom Cafe works to combat human trafficking through community engagement, education, and a simple pathway to fund work necessary for a traffic-free world. 

Bryan has led the organization into collaborations with Stop the Traffik, the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking and the NH Human Trafficking Collaborative Task Force (NHHTCTF). He has supervised large scale human trafficking awareness events around New England and is a regular presenter and trainer bringing critical understanding to the intersection of global supply chains, human trafficking and conscious consuming. 

Bryan received his BS in Education at Plymouth State University and is Ordained by the Assemblies of God.

Watch the Recording