Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery where people are sexually exploited or coerced into forced labor. Despite being illegal in the United States and the existence of several prevention laws, human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world. Human trafficking victims can be anyone: children, teenagers, and adults are all potential targets. Even more alarming is that trafficking occurs everywhere in the U.S. and you can encounter a victim without even realizing it.
Kentucky Rescue and Restore is a program that started in 2008 and is dedicated to providing educational workshops on human trafficking and helping victims in the state. The program’s biggest push is to make people aware of human trafficking’s dangers and how to identify victims. Kentucky Rescue and Restore is unique, because the group created educational tool kits specifically geared towards healthcare providers, law enforcement, and social service organizations on how they can help victims.
Human trafficking prevention is the first step towards ending the illegal activity. Kentucky Rescue and Restore lists several characteristics of victims:
- Evidence of being controlled
- Evidence of an inability to move or leave job
- Bruises or other signs of battering
- Fear or depression
- Non-English speaking
- Recently brought to this country from Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada, Africa or India
- Lack of passport, immigration or identification documentation
KVC Kentucky is a firm supporter of ending human trafficking and educating our professional staff on recognizing signs of exploitation. Every month we hold an agency-wide training and in the month of November, KVC Kentucky will host Marissa Castellanos of Kentucky Rescue and Restore. She will educate all staff about human trafficking essentials, including how to recognize and work with victims as well as reporting cases to the correct authorities.
If you suspect a person is a victim or human trafficker, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.