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January 11, 2022

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Attorney General Steve Marshall Notes Alabama Making Progress in Identifying and Addressing Human Trafficking

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall noted on January 11, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, that the state of Alabama is making progress in addressing the largely hidden crime of human trafficking.

“A year after our joint announcement of the creation of the Alabama Anti Human Trafficking Alliance, law enforcement in our state are becoming better prepared to identify, investigate and prosecute the dark crime of human trafficking,” said Attorney General Marshall. “And this increased awareness is already making a positive difference in halting this form of human slavery that hides in the shadows of many communities.

“The Alabama Attorney General’s Office is actively working with our Alliance partners on at least a half dozen investigations of child sex and labor trafficking and adult sex trafficking across the state, one of which has already resulted in an indictment. We expect such cases to grow as awareness of human trafficking increases.

“We have also spent the last year building our Alliance’s coalition with local law enforcement through almost 70 separate meetings and are now shifting our focus to advanced training of law enforcement, prosecutors and victim service organizations in investigative techniques, identifying survivors and working effectively together. Human trafficking training will be offered to both seasoned law enforcement officials and incoming law enforcement academy cadets. Our goal is for recognition of human trafficking to become a fundamental part of law enforcement training and daily crime surveillance.

“It is vitally important that the public also be aware of the warning signs of human trafficking and report anything suspicious to local law enforcement,” Attorney General Marshall added.

Each year, millions of men, women and children are victimized by human traffickers worldwide. While dozens of cases are reported annually in Alabama, it is believed the actual number of victims is much higher as most cases go unreported.

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain labor services or commercial sex acts (those under age 19 are automatically sex trafficking victims without use of force or coercion). Victims are found in legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including construction, agricultural fields, restaurants, hotels and domestic service. Human traffickers also exploit victims through the use of online streams, videos and photographs.

To learn more about identifying human trafficking victims, visit this link. To report suspected human trafficking, contact your local law enforcement agency, or the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Tip line at 1-866-347-2423. The public and victims may also contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888, SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”).

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