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Collier County raising awareness during Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Human Trafficking
Maria Charitou, Flickr
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Recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Florida consistently ranks near the top of the list when it comes to the most cases. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that involves exploiting a person for labor, services, or commercial sex through force, fraud, or coercion.

In 2020, Florida had 738 human trafficking cases reported. The number of reports have grown significantly each year. Though it is a seemingly bad thing to have increased reports, it also means that more cases are being reported. Human trafficking crimes often go unreported.

Victims are often deceived by false promises and forced, lured, or blackmailed into working in undesirable situations with little or no pay. Victims can be in plain view or hidden behind closed doors.

We explore what role the health department in Collier County plays in raising awareness about this issue to help combat it, and increase the public’s understanding about what to look for in hopes of uncovering cases of human trafficking.

GUEST

  • Kristine Hollingsworth, Assistant to the Administrator/Public Information Officer (PIO), Florida Department of Health in Collier County

Tara Calligan is an award-winning journalist and a public media producer, writer and online content creator at WGCU. Twitter @TlCalligan