Human Trafficking Awareness Day

More than 20 million people are affected by human trafficking each year. Today marks the ninth annual National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. News 25’s Kendra Turley gives us a closer look at the problem here along the Coast and the solution.
January 11th is marked as a day to raise awareness about human trafficking, a crime often referred to as modern day slavery. In 2015, there was a total 4,168 human trafficking cases reported across the country. John Jones with Advocates for Freedom said, “It doesn’t matter what race you are, what’s in your pocketbook, anyone can be a victim of human trafficking.”
Sex trafficking is the most popular form of human trafficking. Lieutenant Aldon Helmert with Biloxi PD said, “Most of the sex trafficking is happening online. A lot of what we’re seeing in the way of labor trafficking is also these people being recruited through online ads.”
The first red flag for victims of human trafficking is a sudden change in behavior such as lack of control over personal possessions.
Human trafficking is not only a global problem but a local problem as well. Interstate 10 has been identified as one of the largest human trafficking corridors in the country. “We’re also right here on the Coast. We have the resort industry. We have the ports. We have things that are very attractive to pimps who are trafficking people. So, it’s right here and it’s bad,” said Jones.
Officials tell News 25 the first step to solving the problem is making sure as many people as possible are aware of the problem first. “And as long as we’re aware of this then we have a better chance of combating it. If we ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist, we will never see it and we will never be able to stop,” said Helmert.
To learn more about human trafficking and how you can help prevent it, visit advocatesforfreedom.org.

Categories: Local News, News

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