New Baltimore collaboration focused on educating community on sex trafficking

BALTIMORE, Md. - Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Councilman Kristerfer Burnett announced a new collaboration between the city, and several agencies to spread awareness on Human Trafficking and the signs it may be happening to someone you know.

In 2014, 396 people were rescued from human trafficking in Maryland, 364 of them were ladies, 124 were children, according to The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force.

The collaboration started with a two-day Human Trafficking Training with Baltimore Police, that began Monday. The officer training was coordinated by the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, The United States Attorney's Office and the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, and partnered with The Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign.

The collaboration started after a constituent of Burnett's, a counselor at a city school, came to him concerned about a student who went missing from their school and was found days later in D.C.

He said they were worried the student was a victim of trafficking and more needed to be done to spread awareness.

"I worked with councilman Cohen to pull together a hearing with the youth and education committee and it was the hardest hearing I've been a part of on this council. To hear the stories of survivors and how they've prevailed but the struggles that they had to deal with while being trafficked over years," Burnett said.

While other efforts like The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force have been around for more than a decade, this collaboration seeks to bring information to locals.

"A lot of our parents and caretakers and teachers still have a lot more work to do to understand the signs of trafficking within the young people," he said.

Signs to look for include:

  • Being unable to come or go as they wish
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Looking physically weak/malnourished
  • Battered/bruised

If you know someone who matches these symptoms, please call the hotline, 888-373-7888.

  • 600,000 to 800,000 people are estimated to be trafficked across nation's borders world-wide every year -MD Human Trafficking Task Force
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