Close to Home: Human Trafficking on the Rise Across America
In the United States, we too frequently fall into the habit of thinking of human trafficking as a foreign problem. And yet, the crime has occurred in all 50 states, with a staggering 387 arrests just in the month of August. A large portion of this number comes from “Operation Summer Rescue,” a human trafficking sweep in Los Angeles. Focused on the rescue of sexually exploited children, the effort led to 286 arrests and 10 victims rescued. I commend the LAPD for the hard work that went into this operation, and urge everyone to take part in defeating this modern day slavery that infects our world.
This month, domestically, there were 387 individuals arrested, suspected, or charged with human trafficking activities. That is 139 more than in any previous month in the United States. There were 91 victims rescued, including 32 children under the age of 18. The 32 children rescued was at least triple the number in any other month is 2016.
There were four new laws passed and 36 community initiatives. Internationally, there were 117 individuals arrested, suspected, or charged with human trafficking activity, as well as 131 victims rescued, including 34 children under the age of 18. There were two new laws passed and 20 community initiatives.
August also means the start of a new academic year, and I along with the NCAS and the US Fund for UNICEF, have been busy planning for this semester’s Shut Out Trafficking events. We are excited to visit numerous college campuses to engage with students and student-athletes about how to combat human trafficking. To learn more, like the Shut Out Trafficking Facebook page and follow End Trafficking on twitter.