Alabama Human Trafficking Awareness Day to be held Friday
The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force is sponsoring the fifth annual Alabama Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Friday. This daylong initiative seeks to raise awareness about human trafficking in the Yellowhammer State.
The task force is also asking Alabama mayors to sign proclamations throughout January in observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Radio, television and printed media coverage across the state will help educate citizens about human trafficking in Alabama, raise awareness about human trafficking, outline victim identifiers and explain how to report potential human trafficking situations.
The purpose and agenda of the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force include the following:
1. To combat all aspects of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking.
2. To pursue a comprehensive response to crimes of human trafficking.
3. To coordinate strategies to provide necessary services for victims of human trafficking.
4. To focus prevention efforts to end the demand for human trafficking and create
awareness through education and community initiatives.
5. To develop legislation to prevent, intervene, and treat human trafficking.
The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force was established in 2014 and meets quarterly at the Alabama State House. Meetings are open to the public.
Friday will pave the way for the Alabama Human Trafficking Summit to be held on Friday, February 8 in Montgomery. Additional details about the summit can be found here.
The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force wants the public to be aware of the facts surrounding the issue, including the following:
• Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world (second only to drug trafficking).
• There are 27 million slaves in the world today—more than at any other time in the history of the world.
• It is estimated that 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked in the U.S. every year.
• Approximately $150 billion is generated worldwide through trafficking activities annually.
• The average age of a human trafficking victim is 12 years old.
• Although 79% of all sex trafficking victims are female, the number of
males being sexually exploited is rapidly rising.
• Within the first 48 hours of leaving home, one-third of runaway youths become the victims of human trafficking.
• I-20, I-85, I-10, and I-65 are major corridors for human trafficking. I-20 has been identified as the “super highway for human trafficking in the United States.” These interstates bring significant trafficking activity into Alabama and along the Gulf Coast where Alabama children travel for Spring Break every year.
• Huntsville sits in the middle of six human trafficking “hot spots:” Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Atlanta and Birmingham. This is one of many trafficking “circuits” across the United States.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn