BEAUMONT, Texas – January is Human Trafficking Awareness month. Each year, law enforcement and service providers reaffirm their commitment to eradicating human trafficking in all forms. Acting United States Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei is issuing a number of messages to educate the public about human trafficking and, importantly, to dispel many myths and misconceptions about trafficking.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery,” said Acting United States Attorney Ganjei. “We proudly partner with federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the remarkable men and women who work with victims, to bring traffickers to justice. Those who exploit other human beings for personal gain have no safe harbor in the Eastern District of Texas.”
Often associated only with sex trafficking, “human trafficking” also includes labor trafficking and indentured servitude. Moreover, trafficking offenses occur in every city and region. It is also a common misconception that individuals are kidnapped or forced into trafficking by strangers. Most victims of human trafficking actually know their trafficker and are enticed by promises of good jobs, easy money, a comfortable life, new opportunities, or even the affection of their trafficker. Traffickers do not fit one particular profile. They can be men or women and are from all races, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Acting United States Attorney Ganjei urges the public to assist. “Because these crimes are often unreported, the public plays a valuable role in helping law enforcement to combat human trafficking. Each day, people unwittingly come into contact with victims of trafficking. From ride share drivers, to beauty service providers, to grocery or convenience store workers, we see these hidden victims.” Acting U.S. Attorney Ganjei added, “It us up to all of us to end this terrible practice. If you see something, say something. Please contact law enforcement or the National Human Trafficking Hotline if you suspect human trafficking.”
If you are currently the victim of sex trafficking, labor trafficking, or indentured servitude, or if you suspect someone else is being victimized, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 (voice), “BeFree” or 233733 (text), or https://polarisproject.org.