RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) --Raising awareness about human trafficking was the focus of a news conference held by Partners Against Trafficking Humans in NC at the Salvation Army of Wake County in Raleigh Tuesday.
It is Human Trafficking Awareness Month in North Carolina and the event recognized eight actions to stop human trafficking in our area. Human trafficking includes sex and labor trafficking
"Today we are celebrating the collaborative efforts of the groups around the state that are making a huge impact and helping to broaden the reach about getting our citizenry aware about human trafficking," said PATH Co-founder Patricia Witt.
William Polk, of the NC Dept of Public Safety, was one of those recognized. He says one of the reasons human traffickers are attracted to North Carolina is the multiple highways.
"North Carolina was unfortunately a major corridor for traffickers to move people for various issues, whether it be labor, whether it be for the sex trade," Polk said.
According to a new UN report, 71 percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls and almost one-third are children.
And it's happening in our area.
In September, Fayetteville Police's Human Trafficking Unit charged 25-year-old Brittany Herndon for the sexual exploit of a minor and promoting prostitution of a juvenile.
Also that month, the Cumberland Co Sheriffs Office Human Trafficking Unit arrested Roland Jeremy Snoke in Fayetteville, on suspicion of promoting prostitution.
Michael Dwain Sanders was arrested in Raleigh and is suspected of human trafficking in August.
Polk says parents should keep an eye on their children's friends and monitor their social media accounts.
"Being very vigilant with their children about their internet usage," Polk said. "Many times kids can be lured into these rings by social media internet solicitation."
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