Officials in Oxford, Alabama, declare the city a Trafficking Free Zone.
Photo courtesy of End It Alabama

State task force heightens awareness of human trafficking in Alabama

The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force is sponsoring Alabama Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Jan. 11 to bring awareness to one of the fastest growing and largest criminal activities in the world and the impact Alabama’s I-20, I-85, I-10 and I-65 have on the crime.

The eighth annual Alabama Human Trafficking Awareness Day aligns with the national observation. In conjunction with the statewide awareness day, a media campaign will educate citizens about human trafficking; raise awareness about human trafficking; outline victim identifiers; and explain how to report potential human trafficking situations.

Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the exploitation of others. Victims of human trafficking can be men, women or children of all races, nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Statewide support

To garner support, mayors across the state have been asked to sign proclamations in observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January. Thus far, municipalities who declared January 2022 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month via proclamations were Aliceville, Brundidge, Gadsden, Grove Hill, Monroeville, Orange Beach, Tarrant, the Town of Hodges, the Town of Ohatchee, the Town of Pisgah, the Town of South Vinemont and the Town of Susan Moore. Alabaster, Athens, Huntsville and Madison will be signing proclamations later in the month.

Several municipalities have also been designated Trafficking Free Zones as defined by the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. Trafficking Free Zones are an initiative focused on reducing the demand for trafficked victims via organizational training, signing a written pledge, enacting policy changes and publicly sharing the commitment to help end trafficking. Lee County as well as Alexander City/Dadeville, Birmingham, Camp Hill, Center Point, Cullman, Gardendale, Homewood, Hoover, Irondale, Mountain Brook, Northport, Opelika, Oxford, Pinson, Trussville and Vestavia Hills have been declared Trafficking Free Zones.

Alabama Human Trafficking Summit

Human Trafficking Awareness Month will be capped off by the 8th Annual Human Trafficking Summit sponsored by the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force (END IT ALABAMA). The one-day event is being held on Feb. 4, 2022, at the Renaissance Hotel Montgomery. Click here to learn more about the Summit.

The Alabama Human Trafficking task force was established in 2014 by the Alabama state legislature. The task force combats all aspects of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking, pursues a comprehensive response to crimes of human trafficking, coordinates strategies to provide necessary services for victims of human trafficking, focuses prevention efforts to end the demand for human trafficking and creates awareness through education and community initiatives. The task force meets quarterly; all meetings are open to the public.

Click here to download a flyer on trafficking red flags and contacts for reporting suspected human trafficking.


Human Trafficking Facts

(Compiled by End It Alabama)

  • Human trafficking is the fastest growing and second largest criminal activity in the world, second only to drug trafficking. (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)
  • Approximately $150 billion is generated worldwide through trafficking activities annually. (International Labour Organization)
  • One in three detected victims of exploitation and human trafficking are children. (UN Office on Drugs and Crimes)
  • It is estimated that 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked in the U.S. every year. (U.S. Dept. of State)
  • I-20, I-85, I-10 and I-65 are major corridors for human trafficking. I-20 has been identified as the “superhighway for human trafficking in the United States.” These interstates bring significant trafficking activity into Alabama and along the Gulf Coast where Alabama children travel for spring break every year.
  • At any given time, the Global Slavery Index estimates that 6,000 people are being trafficked in the state of Alabama and based on preliminary research from the University of Alabama, more than half of those trafficked are children.
  • In Alabama in 2017, 57% of human trafficking victims were minors. (Bringing the Exploitation of Alabama’s Minors to a Stop)

Resources from Woman’s Missionary Union

WorldCrafts Support Freedom Campaign

The WorldCrafts Support Freedom campaign actively empowers our customers, buyers, and artisans by supporting those groups working to free women involved in or at risk of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Click here to learn more. 

 

Trafficked: Fighting to Be Free

This one-hour simulation teaches about the realities surrounding human trafficking and how to help rescued victims. Participants walk to stations that represent common traps into human trafficking and follow scenarios that tell the progressive stories of the victim they’re representing. The simulation includes a Bible study and debrief time for self-reflection. Participants leave with a more personal understanding of what it might be like to face this kind of exploitation and gain insight into how the church can respond and engage with those rescued. Click here to learn more.

 

Human Trafficking: The Church’s Response

This self-guided online mini-course will provide you with an overview of human trafficking. Resources will be provided for leading training conferences on the issue and how you can be involved in the fight against human trafficking. Click here to learn more.

 

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