Here is your weekly roundup of human trafficking stories in the news. We hope to highlight the good work that U.S. law enforcement and citizens are doing to fight human trafficking across the country. O.U.R. was not involved unless specified.
For the next year, billboards throughout Southeast Texas will outline the most common forms of human trafficking. This campaign aims to bring awareness to many about human trafficking and child exploitation.
A 5-month undercover operation in Florida resulted in the arrest of over 100 people. The Sheriff explained the story behind two of the predators: “Fitzgerald and Colon showed up at a trailer park in North Tampa. They began negotiating a price for sex with the child, and when they were told they could take their pick, having sex with a 14-year-old girl or a 13-year-old girl inside one of the trailers, they jumped at the chance to be with the even younger girl. Predators like this do not belong on the streets of Hillsborough County.”
The fourth annual O.U.R. Phoenix Rescue Run will kick off on December 7th. An O.U.R. volunteer said, “We try to educate the community on various things, even beyond human trafficking, like how to keep your kids safe on the internet, how to get involved on a local level with aftercare, how kids are being targeted in Arizona, and of course what human trafficking looks like in Arizona.”
Courtney Litvak grew up in Katy, Texas, and was trafficked her junior year of high school. She was trafficked around the U.S. for two years before escaping. Litvak recently met with Ivanka Trump and others at the Whitehouse to share her experience and raise awareness that human trafficking is happening everywhere, even in wealthy areas.