Human trafficking has received a lot of attention in recent years. Unfortunately, there are still a number of misconceptions about trafficking. Raising awareness about human trafficking and learning what we can all do to end it is our greatest tool to ending human trafficking in our generation.
Human trafficking is defined as the use of force, fraud or coercion to induce a state of involuntary servitude against another human being and can take the form of labor trafficking, sex trafficking or both.
One of the greatest myths is that trafficking is still seen as a foreign issue. The truth is that human trafficking happens in the United States, and even in our own community. We only have to look back to October 2014 when the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office uncovered a human trafficker, or coyote, transporting seven people along our interstates during Operation Rolling Thunder. Our own residents and even our children are potential victims of trafficking. Until we learn about the issue and how to look for signs, we cannot prevent members of our community from becoming victims.
Studies estimate that an estimated 21 million to 27 million people are trapped in trafficking, and about 5.5 million children and minors are included. The average age of a victim of trafficking is 12 years old. We owe it to our children and those who feel helpless and trapped to speak out about human trafficking and bring hope to the darkness.
I ran for office because our nation has an abundance of issues facing us, but I believe we can only fix them by taking a stand to fix our own communities. That is why I am hosting a rally at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Beacon Drive-In to raise awareness for human trafficking. I hope you will join me.
District 2 representative,
Spartanburg County Council