U.S. Attorney’s Office asks everyone to be on lookout for human trafficking

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Although the observing of January as Human Trafficking Awareness month concludes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Louisville is asking the public to remain vigilant and continue to shed light on this crime that too often goes undetected.

He says look for the signs. Human trafficking occurs all around us, in our urban cities and across our rural farm communities. Situations can be found in the shadows of the legal businesses we frequent and the service industries we rely on everyday. Trafficking also increases around major events and trade shows that attract large numbers of tourists to our towns, including the Kentucky Derby, basketball tournaments, and farm shows. Learn who is most vulnerable to trafficking and how to spot the signs around you by going to: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/en/human-trafficking/recognizing-signs.

Report suspected activity. If you are a victim of human trafficking or suspect you know one, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733), or local law enforcement. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911. If you believe a child is involved in a trafficking situation, submit a tip through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Call Center at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). Tips can be submitted anonymously.

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Reporting can make a difference. Tips, no matter how small, could be the critical piece that unlocks an investigation. Recently published Bureau of Justice statistics show an increase in human trafficking suspects referred to and prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country. Nationwide, a total of 2,027 persons were referred for federal prosecution for human trafficking offenses in fiscal year 2021, a 49% increase from the 1,360 persons referred in 2011. The number of persons actually prosecuted for human trafficking more than doubled from 2011 to 2021 (from 729 persons to 1,672 persons, respectively).

Additional resources and information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.