The Citrus County Commission on Tuesday proclaimed the month of January as a time to be aware of the issue of human trafficking.
Commissioners presented the proclamation to a group of law enforcement and social agencies in a special ceremony.
The proclamation reads:
WHEREAS; human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery and is a crime against humanity that violates the most basic human rights; as of 2018, Florida is ranked 3 based on the number of cases according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center; and
“WHEREAS, human trafficking occurs when an adult or child is recruited, harbored, obtained, or exploited through force, fraud or coercion for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, involuntary servitude, debt bondage and other methods of slavery. Nationally, the criminal enterprise of Human Trafficking is second only to the illegal drug trade, in terms of the speed of its growth and being among the most lucrative; traffickers lure their victims with promises of love, protection, adventure, a sense of belonging, and opportunity; then using multiple means to control their victims including; beatings, rape, isolation, drug or alcohol dependency, document withholding, and psychological and emotional abuse; and
“WHEREAS, traffickers find their victims through social networks, in neighborhoods, the internet and our schools; juveniles in the commercial sex trade are commonly between 14 and 16 years of age. It is estimated 1 out of 5 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely sex trafficking victims. Through the Tri=-County Human Trafficking Response Team, our local community unites to combat this modern day slavery and
brings together non-profits, government, and private sector businesses in prevention, prosecution, education and awareness efforts to restore freedom and dignity to survivors.
“NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of County Commissioners of Citrus County, Florida proclaims the month of January,
2020, as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Citrus County, Florida.”