*Trigger Warning: Sex Trafficking*

The Challenge

In North Carolina human trafficking has been a prevalent issue for many years now. Despite this, it has only recently come to the forefront of community concern. Many people working to combat this issue note that they did not even hear it discussed in the state until around eight years ago. Although it was something people knew existed, it was not apparent as an expansive problem in North Carolina. However, as time has gone on it has become clear that due to the state’s high level of tourism and the extent of the highway system, human trafficking needs to be addressed.

Did you know… N.C. is among the top 10 states in the number of trafficking reports? In the past 10 years, the NHTH has identified almost 2,700 victims of human trafficking in the state.

The Solution

Addressing human trafficking in North Carolina is of the utmost importance. The best way to tackle an issue of this size is by bringing in a unique team to find solutions to the problem. In the Piedmont Triad, a variety of organizations have been brought together, all relying on their areas of expertise to create a network of collaboration. Nonprofit organizations from all over the state are working to find solutions to human trafficking.

For example, one organization works to educate truck drivers about the signs of human trafficking. Often the truck driving population interacts with women who are experiencing sex trafficking, but do not know the signs to look for, so they do feel concerned. While the World Relief Foundation connects survivors of human trafficking with resources that they may need going forward, for the Triad, and many other areas, the current solution is bringing organizations together. As more and more folks join the ranks, the greater the likelihood of ending human trafficking becomes.

 

 

 The Learning

Although human trafficking has not been eradicated in North Carolina, agencies can learn from what the Triad community has done. The key is to bring multiple organizations together to find solutions. These organizations have worked to educate folks about the issue, as well as teach others how to look for signs of human trafficking.

Further, one of the biggest takeaways for communities is that there is still a lack of knowledge on the topic. Human trafficking looks different everywhere, but one missing piece of the puzzle is existing data. Specialists on the issue all agree that more studies need to be conducted so that there is enough qualitative and quantitative information about the issue. If your organization is looking to address human trafficking, this will be one of the most important tools they can utilize.