January 15 marks Alabama Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
According to Patricia McCay, the Secretary of the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, human trafficking is becoming more and more frequent in Alabama.
Governor Robert Bentley established the The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force in 2014. This is part of the House Joint Resolution 270 during the 2014 Alabama Legislative session.
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Some Human Trafficking Facts according to the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force
· 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 are 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, but 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 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”.
· Huntsville sits in the middle of five human trafficking “hot spots”: Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Birmingham.