WEB EXTRA: Human trafficking explained

Friday, April 27, 2012 - 12:40pm

BATON ROUGE, La — Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. That's according to a number of different people who fight it every day right here in Baton Rouge. Around the world, 27 million people are victims of human trafficking, being forced to work or have sex, so someone else can make money off of them.

"It's the second fastest growing criminal activity in the world," says Katherine Green with the Human Trafficking Task Force for the Middle District of Louisiana."

Human traffickers are generating $32 billion a year globally by selling humans.

"As a father of five, I say 'wow. Imagine if that was one of our children,'" says Lee Domingue, co-founder of Trafficking Hope.

The problem isn't just happening overseas. The Department of Justice has ranked Baton Rouge within the top 10 cities in the U.S. for human trafficking.

"It's happening right here. It's happening right here in the United States," Green says. "We are a demand country, which means we want the product, which is people."

The youngest recorded victim in Baton Rouge was six years old, according to Lee and Laura Domingue.

They say that's just not acceptable. They've joined forces with a number of other passionate people to fight human trafficking, here at home, and globally.

"When I found out it was happening here in Baton Rouge, that's just a whole different level," says Laura Domingue. "It's just not okay."

Now, they need the public's help to raise awareness and stop the problem.

"It's going to take a collective effort," says Natalie LaBorde. She founded Tigers Against Trafficking at LSU in 2007. "Everybody playing their part and doing what they're good at to really address this to make our community, our state, our globe aware."

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