Human trafficking generally means one of two things — sex trafficking or labor trafficking. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 75 percent of the cases it tracked nationwide were for sex trafficking. Most of the victims — 85 percent — were female, and 64 percent were adults.
U.S. citizens accounted for the largest share of victims, with almost 30 percent. Mexico, China, the Philippines had the next highest amounts, each accounting for 2 percent or less of victims, though nationalities of 58 percent of victims were listed as unknown or unspecified.
Of the nearly 22,000 calls the national hotline received, more than one-quarter were called in by community members.
Florida is third in the nation for cases of human trafficking, with 407 cases reported statewide in 2015, according to the resource center. California was first with 979 cases, followed by Texas with 433.
The state Department of Children and Families, which tracks reports of human trafficking statewide, received 73 reports of suspected human trafficking in Duval County in 2015. Of those, 19 cases were verified.
Since the implementation of Safe Harbor laws, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has arrested a handful of children for prostitution: one in 2013 and three in 2015. In 2015, one juvenile was also arrested for trafficking of another person.
To report suspected human trafficking of a child, call the Florida Abuse
Hotline at (800) 962-2873. To report suspected trafficking of an adult or a child outside Florida, call (888) 373-7888.
Tessa Duvall: (904) 359-4697
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