Law Enforcement Increases Awareness of Human Trafficking in Alabama

Human trafficking affects more people in Alabama that most people realize.

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human trafficking 0129It’s a serious legal and social issue that many of us may not even think is a problem in the United States, human trafficking.  Law enforcement wants you to know that if affects more people than you realize, maybe even someone you know.

US attorney’s representing Alabama’s southern, middle and northern districts held a meeting on the campus of Auburn Montgomery on Friday.  They invited representatives from Alabama’s law enforcement, hotel industry and various non-profit social programs to learn more about human trafficking.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking is recognized as “a modern-day form of slavery” and “is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today.” Human trafficking often takes one of two forms – labor or sex trafficking. Labor trafficking may include forced labor or debt bondage, where a victim continually works to pay off an undefined and seemingly endless debt. Sex trafficking includes forcing victims to perform sexual acts, performances, or prostitution, or subjecting them to sexual abuse or torture. Victims may be subject to inhumane conditions and may be afraid to seek help due to language barriers, immigration status, or fear of the trafficker.

Both Federal and Alabama law criminalize human trafficking, with penalties including significant prison time, large fines, and mandatory restitution.

The mission of the Middle District of Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force is “To Find and Free” victims of human trafficking. The Task Force began its work in 2009, initiated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama. The Task Force consists of federal, state, and local partners within the River Region and from the 23 counties which comprise the Middle District of Alabama.

For more information on human trafficking you can visit this website HUMANTRAFFICKING.ORG

If you think you have spotted a case of human trafficking, you can call this hotline:  1-888-3737-888

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