Shunu Shrestha, an expert in human trafficking prevention, has joined the city of Minneapolis to further its work on the problem.
Shrestha, 37, of Eden Prairie, started work this week in the city coordinator's office. She will develop a plan focused on issues related to labor trafficking, such as wage theft and exploitative employment practices.
The city of Minneapolis collaborated with more than 100 community partners to fight trafficking during Super Bowl LII.
Shrestha previously worked in Duluth for the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, where she led the city's Trafficking Task Force. Before coming to the United States in 2003, she did extensive work in her native Nepal promoting human rights and fighting trafficking of women and girls.
The funding for her position in Minneapolis comes from a two-year grant from Humanity United and the NoVo Foundation as part of a competition sponsored by Partnership for Freedom, a group working to spur innovative solutions to "modern-day slavery."
Minneapolis was one of three cities in the country selected to receive funding to develop coordinated, citywide solutions to trafficking.
"Minneapolis has become a leader in fighting and preventing juvenile sex trafficking," Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said in a prepared statement. "Shunu Shrestha will help us build on that work and broaden our focus to develop strategies to combat labor traffickers who are preying on vulnerable workers in our community."