Law Enforcement and Children Advocates Bring Awareness to Human Trafficking
Governor John Bel Edwards has declared January as human trafficking prevention month in Louisiana.
He launched a hotline to report all cases of suspected human trafficking.
ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how parents can protect their children.
Special Projects Coordinator for Department of Justice Monica Taylor says juveniles are most vulnerable to human traffickers.
“In most cases, they are being forced or coerced into doing it and it’s not necessarily what we see, like in the Hollywood version and in the movies. A lot of times, it is either a boyfriend or someone known to them who is actually trafficking them.”
If you suspect a child is being trafficked, call law enforcement.
Taylor says, “It is not something you necessarily want to intervene on your own. These people who are traffickers are very dangerous. You have to think about the fact that they’re willing to sell another person so that they can get money.”
CAC Program Director Ashley Rubin works with local law enforcement to educate them on human trafficking.
“Law enforcement, they’re seeing it and they may have a child that is frequently running away so they’re like, I never thought this child could possibly be trafficked so most times when we see children running away, they are usually running to something or running away from something.”
Local enforcement officers are trained to investigate these cases and bring victims to safety.
Alexandria Police Detective Meade Palmer says, “The family really appreciates it once you get law enforcement involved. They give you information to find their children and once we get them back, they’re relieved. They’re happy that law enforcement is there.”
Rubin says calling the hotline to report juvenile sex trafficking is the best option.
“If you see something or it looks suspicious, report it, and allow the people who are trained to be able to determine if something is truly happening or not.”
Law enforcement officers are proud to work with childcare services to fight human trafficking.
To report on human trafficking, call the Louisiana State Police 24/7 Hotline.