January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Law enforcement, medical personnel, and educators are getting more training about how to spot victims of human trafficking. Those indicators are also often shared with the public by those agencies and community leaders. It’s just one way to raise awareness about the worldwide issue.
“When you look at 40 million people around the world that are being trafficked right now, that’s a huge number,” Sgt. Justin Baker with the Department of Public Safety, DPS, said.
Another way to raise awareness is the Wear Blue Day Campaign. The Department of Homeland Security launched this campaign several years ago. While campaigns like these are fun to participate in, it is also important to share facts along with photos on those posts. These facts help combat false information.
“I think one of the biggest things you think of when you think human trafficking is like a Liam Neeson movie where they’ve been taken. It might be that mindset that a van rolls up and yanks them out of the park and puts them in the van and speeds away but yes that happens unfortunately, but when you talk about human trafficking, it’s like a multiheaded monster that spreads all over the globe. When one head is cut off another one takes its place and the one that was cut off can grow back. It’s just a never-ending fight for us in law enforcement,” Sgt. Baker said.
It’s a fight we can all join and learning what human trafficking actually looks like can save lives.
“There’s a variety of types, but we also have some that caretakers, they’re supposed to be looking out for the best interest of that child are trafficking that child. It could be the ones who we’re supposed to go to as role models,” Sgt. Baker said.