Wednesday, January 11th has been proclaimed as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Human trafficking is one of the most egregious human rights violations we see. It is a heinous crime of exploitation that involves forcing people to work for others for profit, whether through traditional types of labor or sexual exploitation. Victims are men, women, and children from our state, our country, and across the globe. Experts estimate that world-wide, 27 million people are trafficked annually bringing in $32 billion dollars. It is the fastest growing and second largest black market.
This past year, our office worked with legislators to enact a law that makes human trafficking a felony in our state and creates services for victims. The passage of this law has given us some important tools to combat trafficking, but more work needs to be done. To that end, we are beginning the work of our state wide task force made up of government and non-profit agencies to examine and address all aspects of trafficking.
Everyone has something to offer in the fight against human trafficking. Hospital, hotel, and transportation staff are in a unique position to identify victims. Educators and parents can encourage prevention and internet safety education. Today, everyone can take a moment to learn about the signs and consequences of human trafficking and all that we can do to prevent this exploitation.
To learn more about human trafficking and what you can do, visit the Attorney General’s website.