ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – It is a crime that happens every single day, and it is a growing problem. Florida ranks third in the country for human trafficking cases reported by states.
Thursday was World Day Against Trafficking and events were held all across the country to bring awareness to the issue, and be a voice for the hundreds-of-thousands of victims.
More than 500 marched from Vinoy Park to St. Pete City Hall.
“I don’t think people are paying attention to what’s going on, the issues at hand with children and human beings being trafficked right now,” said Gian Carlo Revilla.
“This is my passion right now and I get all emotional to see and hear what these kids go through,” Cindy Kerigan said. “I want to be able to do something, and this is a first for me right now. They don’t have a voice so this is my chance to be a voice for them.
The event was organized by Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit that works to save children from sex trafficking. The demonstration focused on raising awareness, and educating folks about the horrific crime.
According to the State Department, human trafficking is one of the most profitable criminal activities in the world, and hundreds-of-thousands of American children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry every year.
“There’s a huge issue with it in Tampa Bay,” O.U.R Rescue Volunteer Anna Paulina Luna said. “I think that a lot of people think that this is something that isn’t happening around them so they shouldn’t have to think about it, but in actuality, it’s happening all around you, you might just not recognize the signs of it.”
Organizers say the best way to combat human trafficking is so educate yourself, and talk about it.
Learn more about Operation Underground Railroad by visiting: https://ourrescue.org
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .