Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall isn’t holding back on Human Trafficking Awareness Day — he’s promising relentless pursuit of traffickers.
On Friday, Marshall vowed to actively pursue traffickers across the Yellowhammer State.
“Not only is human trafficking a global tragedy, it is heartbreakingly present in our own state of Alabama. Human trafficking is only behind drug trafficking as the second largest criminal industry in the world, with an all-time high of 27 million victims enslaved today,” explained Marshall. “It is hard for us to fathom that such a vile practice as slavery exists in our midst, but we must acknowledge it, be vigilant, and fight it. Right here in Alabama, our interstates–I-20, I-85, I-10 and I-65—are major routes for human trafficking.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at least 36 human trafficking cases were reported in the Yellowhammer State in 2018. They also report more than 107 victims of human trafficking in Alabama have called its hotline for help last year.
Marshall continued, “Human trafficking involves victims being used for commercial sex or forced labor. Traffickers target those who are most vulnerable, using threats or torture to wear down its victims and render them powerless to seek help. Tragically, the average age of victims is reported to be 12 years old, and one-third of runaway children are victimized within the first two days of leaving home.
“I want to remind human traffickers of the promise I made them last year: We are coming after you. This year, another promise: We will only become more relentless—until the day we End It.
Marshall explained his office is working in conjunction with the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force to put an end to human trafficking in the Yellowhammer State.
“We ask that you be watchful of those who may be in trouble. Please do not try to intervene, but instead, immediately report any suspicions to law enforcement. Together, we can save victims, one at a time, and reduce the terrible suffering caused by the trafficking of our fellow human beings. You may call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888,” Marshall concluded.