Gov. Kim Reynolds proclaimed January as Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month on Wednesday at a signing at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines.

The governor was joined by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Dr. George Belitsos, board chair of the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery. Following the proclamation signing, Belitsos presented Gov. Reynolds with the Outstanding Anti-Trafficking Service award. The award recognizes Gov. Reynolds’ commitment to fight trafficking cases in Iowa.

“Gov. Reynolds is well-deserving of this award,” Belitsos said. “She has served as an honorary member of the network’s board of directors for two years and has been a strong advocate for our fight to end trafficking in Iowa.”

Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Gregg announced a new statewide training project in September 2017 to fight the growing number of sex trafficking cases taking place in Iowa’s hotels and motels. Belitsos said their advocacy helped successfully launch the initiative.

The governor also recognized several hotels on Wednesday who were among the first to allow their employees to be trained to recognize and report suspected trafficking. She also presented service awards to several individuals and organizations who made outstanding contributions to end trafficking in Iowa.