BATON ROUGE, LA — Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell joins the nation in recognizing January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
“Raising awareness and addressing common misconceptions about human trafficking are the first steps in preventing the crime,” said Attorney General Caldwell. “I remain committed to stopping the buying and selling of children and adults for forced labor and sexual purposes,” said Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.
Attorney General Caldwell has continued to work with the Louisiana Legislature to improve sex trafficking laws and protect children from human traffickers. In its 2012 report on state child sex trafficking laws, Shared Hope International ranked Louisiana No. 1 among states in the nation for having the best legislative frameworks for the prosecution of human traffickers.
Louisiana’s human trafficking statute, R.S. 14:46.2, makes it a crime to recruit, harbor, transport, provide, solicit, obtain, or maintain the use of another person through force, fraud or coercion to provide services or labor. This statute also makes it a crime for a person to knowingly benefit or facilitate any of these activities.
An estimated 1 million children worldwide are sexually exploited annually, with the average age of girls forced into the sex trade between the ages of 12 and 14. Within the United States alone, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 children are trafficked for sex every year. Experts estimate 27 million people are trafficked worldwide annually, reaping $32 billion in illegal profits which makes it the second-largest and fastest-growing black market in the world.
The President has called upon businesses, organizations, faith-based groups, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital role each plays in ending all forms of slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.
“Consider offering your time and financial support to charities that provide services to victims,” Caldwell said. “Each one of us can do something to combat human trafficking.”
Suspected cases of human trafficking should be reported to local law enforcement or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.