Attorney General Pam Bondi today presented a Florida Cabinet resolution recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month and commending law enforcement, local governments, advocates and communities for efforts in combating this horrible crime. As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Attorney General Bondi and the Department of Education are also encouraging students and school faculty to keep their eyes open in order to spot a victim of human trafficking.
“I want to thank our local and state leaders, law enforcement officers, experts and survivors. I look forward to continuing working together to fight human trafficking and help those victimized by it,” said Attorney General Bondi. “Awareness is a powerful tool and it is especially important for teens and educators to be aware of human trafficking and how to spot it. Students and faculty are uniquely positioned to notice changes in behavior that may be related to human trafficking. Working with DOE, we will provide students with the information they need to identify the signs and quickly report suspected human trafficking.”
“The safety of Florida’s students is our top priority, and the education community plays a significant role in preventing and identifying human trafficking,” said Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. “Because of this, we offer ongoing training to school personnel to ensure that teachers, administrators, counselors, school nurses, school resource officers, and afterschool and transportation staff have the information and resources necessary to protect students.”
Knowing how to spot human trafficking and recognize a victim are key in helping stop the crime. If someone suspects human trafficking, they should report the crime to local law enforcement or call 911. Attorney General Bondi encourages Floridians, especially school faculty and students, to know the signs of human trafficking and how to report it by visiting YouCanStopHT.com and downloading the new infographic.
Below are a few common signs students and teacher can spot in a human trafficking victim:
· Unexplained absences;
· Sudden change in usual attire, behavior or relationships;
· Chronically runs away; and
· Abrupt increase in material possession.
To view a copy of the resolution Attorney General Bondi presented recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month during today’s meeting of the Florida Governor and Cabinet, click here.