Sex Trafficking

Photo: Ira Gelb via Flickr Creative Commons

Hundreds of cases of human trafficking are reported in Florida every year, and a new report from 2016 shows the number of human trafficking cases in the state doubled in the last year.

The vast majority of trafficked persons in Florida are young women, and sex trafficking is the most common form of human trafficking in the state, according to a report from Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Families.

Florida officials say the number of human trafficking cases have increased more than 50 percent in the state from the previous year.


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The National Human Trafficking Resource Center estimates more than 20 million people are enslaved worldwide and that Florida ranks third in the nation when it comes to the number of reported sex trafficking cases.  Victims of human trafficking are children, women and men who are sexually exploited or coerced to work through force or fraud.

 

Federal aid to find and help the victims of sexual human trafficking may soon be on its way to the states, thanks to a package of bills just passed in the House of Representatives. One of those bills was filed by South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and it concentrates on health care providers. 

Dan Wagner, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

State lawmakers in Tallahassee are considering sweeping changes to how law enforcement and child welfare agencies rescue and treat child victims of sex trafficking. It's a widespread problem whose solutions have been hotly debated in recent years.

Two pieces of legislation could bring more safe-houses and resources to combat sex trafficking here. Sarasota Herald-Tribune reporter David McSwane looks at those issues, and the efforts of one former prostitute to get young women off the streets of Sarasota and Bradenton.

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