SPECIAL: Cracking Down on Human Trafficking in South Carolina

January 11, 2018, 4:41 pm EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (FOX 24 NEWS NOW) — What do you think of when you hear the term modern-day slavery? Today, the harboring of human beings has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, and it’s happening every day in our own backyard.

Prostitution and forced labor are just a couple of reasons why people are bought and sold on the black market.

To continue to bring light to this issue, FOX 24 dedicated Thursday’s broadcast to National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

First, we introduced you to a woman who has been tirelessly advocating for men, women, and children forced into the sex trade. Barbara Amaya is a speaker, author, and survivor.

We listen to her story of abuse as an adolescent, her transition into what’s termed as ‘the life,’ and how she got out.

Next, we sit down with South Carolina’s Human Trafficking Task Force, an agency that combines the efforts of federal, local, and state law enforcement agencies.

And finally, we speak with a local organization, Doors to Freedom, who provides a safe place to live for survivors of sex trafficking, education, therapy and more.

But what is human trafficking? It’s the basic violation of human rights; the recruitment, transportation and harboring of a person through coercion, abduction or force; and an abuse of power to exploit the most vulnerable.

Prostitution, forced labor, or slavery and organ harvesting are the most common forms of human trafficking and are happening right here in the United States every day.

From coast-to-coast, there are thousands of men, woman, and children being trafficked.

And, while California has some of the highest rates of human trafficking in the United States, a 2014 report by the Urban Insitute estimated that the underground sex economy reached a staggering $290-million in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here in South Carolina, lawmakers are working tirelessly to put an end to this epidemic but wouldn’t be able to do it without the support and hard work of various organizations and individuals brave enough to stand up against human trafficking, much like today’s guests on FOX 24 News Now.