Trinity Mount Ministries

Friday, December 14, 2018

Kansas named one hub for human trafficking in the U.S.

By: McKenzi Davis
The federal government has named Kansas a hub for human trafficking in the U.S., and now Kansas organizations are partnering together to decrease these crimes.
According to victim service grantees that work with the Kansas Attorney General's Office, over 470 individuals identified themselves as victims of human trafficking in 2017, just in Kansas. Human trafficking is the use of force to obtain some type of labor through sexual acts.
State officials say the numbers are rising, so local organizations are working harder to protect women.
The YWCA is one of the organizations fighting to help women who have been victims of human trafficking. Just this year, they say they have helped more than 70 victims. The Attorney General's Office said trafficking is happening in places you least expect it.
"So many people are unaware," said Northeast Kansas YWCA CEO, Kathleen Marker. "And they need to be sensitive to what they are seeing because it can be right under their nose and not know that this is happening."

The Kansas Attorney General's Director of Human Trafficking Education, Jennifer Montgomery, said people are being trafficked through businesses like restaurants, truck stops and even through construction jobs. The federal government named Kansas as one of the hubs for human trafficking because it is in the middle of the United States. This is making the YWCA and with other Kansas organization work harder for the victims.
"Having partnerships between victim service agencies, government agencies and those sorts of things are important," said Montgomery. "The government itself can't fix the problem. Law enforcement can't fix it on their own. It's really a team effort."
The Attorney General's Office said it's training truck drivers to recognize human trafficking victims. They have required commercial drivers to take a test on spotting trafficking signs.

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