New data released on human trafficking
According to the latest data from the NHTRC, there has been more than 19,000 cases in the U.S over the past 6 years years.
Last year alone in the volunteer state, there were 73-reported cases which bringing the total to 262 cases in Tennessee since 2007.
WDEF spoke to Jerry Redmann who is the CEO of Second Life of Chattanooga. It’s an organization built to stop human trafficking.
"Five years ago we’re not having this conversation. Not in any substantive way because most of us were so unaware of the presence of the issue and how the issue presents itself. So part of the good news is we’re having this conversation. These numbers are now being tracked," Redmann said.
According to the new data, 71-percent of the trafficking cases were sex related. 16-percent involved labor. 4-percent was a combination of sex and labor while 9-percent of trafficking was not specified.
"That means we still have a lot of work to do in terms of basic education and understanding as to what this issue is; it’s complexities and how to recognize it," Redmann said.
The latest data also recognizes the top three sex trafficking venues as commercial front brothels, internet websites and hotels.
The top labor trafficking industries were identified as domestic work and the food service industry.
"If you have someone in any of those particular industries who is looking for less than a integrity edge, then they might be willing to cut some corners and someone ends up being exploited," Redmann said.
Experts agree that sex trafficking gets more attention than labor trafficking. But both are impacting lives both here in Tennessee and beyond.
Just last week, House Republicans passed a bill that would increase penalties for people who are caught trafficking humans. That bill awaits a vote in the Senate.