Secretary of State and USM host summit on human trafficking

Unknown to many, Mississippi is a hot spot for human trafficking because of the major highways that run through it such as I-10 and the various ports it offers to the public.

When Secretary of State Michael Watson heard this, he set out to raise awareness and save lives. Watson partnering with USM to create the Mississippi businesses against trafficking summit.

The summit educates people on the tricks used by perpetrators and how to spot a human trafficking incident.

Other organizations such as the Center for Violence Prevention and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation setting up booths to offer resources to attendees. Watson said, “When I was in the legislature, some individuals came up to me and said, ‘Look, we wanna talk to you about human trafficking’, and I said, ‘Well, that’s fine, but it’s really in Los Angeles, it’s in Vegas, it’s in New York, it’s not really in Mississippi.’ But they gave me an example of something that happening here in Lincoln County, Mississippi where a grandfather that was trafficking his granddaughter for drug money. And, so, when I heard that, it really hit home that it is here in Mississippi. Being a father of three daughters, it’s something I couldn’t just stand by idly. I had to get busy and do work for the state of Mississippi dealing with human trafficking. So, it started in the legislature and came to secretary of state’s office now.”

If you or someone you now are experiencing human trafficking, please call the Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or text ‘be free.’

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