Our View: Modern slavery is a real thing 

Published 12:37 am Sunday, December 11, 2016

On Friday, Clark County law enforcement responded to a call at a rest stop on Interstate 64 regarding human trafficking. A woman reported she was being trafficked and needed help escaping.

It was a startling reality that just miles away from our cozy office, the perils of modern slavery were alive and well.

Ultimately, the woman’s story was not true.

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Sadly, many do not realize slavery still exists worldwide today especially in the forms of forced labor, sex trafficking and child labor.

Every year, thousands of people end up in the hand of criminals who make human trafficking a $32 billion a year industry.

There are more than 20 million enslaved today, 26 percent are children and more than 14 thousand new victims are brought in to the U.S. every year.

In 2014, 160 victims of human trafficking were identified in Kentucky — 94 of those were trafficked as children, with youngest victim being just two months old.

Modern slavery is not confined to third world countries or societies powered by dictators.

It is an epidemic that haunts our own society and somehow quietly makes its way through our seemingly safe communities without anyone noticing.

So what can we do to get involved in he fight against human trafficking and end modern-day slavery?

Educate, organize, donate and be observant.

Educate yourself on the issue and spread the word to your friend, family, coworkers, peers and church.

Organize an event to invite a speaker to share the horrors of human trafficking.

Donate or fundraise for organizations that help victims. Check out Rescue and Restore KY and Covenant Friendship Ministries.

Finally observe your surrounding carefully and respond accordingly. Report any suspicions of human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.