Louisiana launches new campaign to prevent human trafficking

Gov. John Bel Edwards (left) and First Lady Donna Edwards (center) held a news conference on...
Gov. John Bel Edwards (left) and First Lady Donna Edwards (center) held a news conference on human trafficking prevention efforts in Louisiana on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. Dr. Dana Hunter (right) was named the executive director of the newly formed Louisiana Office of Human Trafficking Prevention.(WAFB)
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 4:57 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Hundreds of people were victims of human trafficking in Louisiana in 2021, and state officials say that is hundreds too many.

“Two of the corridors that facilitate human trafficking in the country are I-20 and I-10 corridors across Louisiana. We know that large events, especially sporting events, are magnets,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

Edwards and the first lady unveiled a new campaign Tuesday to combat trafficking across the state.


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“A lot more efforts in terms of promoting awareness, whether it’s DOTD reaching motorists, you’re going to see some billboard campaigns, but a lot more promotion of this resource center so that people know how they can educate themselves on what trafficking looks like,” Edwards said.

Donna Edwards said the best tool against prevention is education.

“We need to be aware that children on social media, on different platforms of social media, I won’t call which ones out, but there’s grooming processes that a lot of these predators take and it doesn’t happen overnight, it happens over a year,” the first lady said.

The governor also introduced the executive director of the newly formed Office of Human Trafficking Prevention. Dr. Dana Hunter said they will be speaking with former victims to make sure they are doing what’s best to help them recover and save other potential victims.

“Implement the best programs, the most promising practices, to prevent and combat human trafficking, and to promote justice and healing for victims and survivors,” Hunter said.

Louisiana is not alone in the initiative. The first lady said other states have pledged to join the efforts too.

You can visit stoptraffickingla.com to learn more about the public awareness campaign.

For more resources to help victims and potential victims, go to humantrafficking.la.gov.

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