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Eyes Wide Open: NC Tops List of States with Reports of Human Trafficking

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Human trafficking can include labor and sex trades and is defined as a form of modern day slavery. January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Human trafficking can include labor and sex trades and is defined as a form of modern day slavery. January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
 By Stephanie CarsonContact
January 4, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. – Human rights organizations are increasingly concerned about what's happening behind closed doors in homes and businesses across North Carolina.

The state ranks in the top 15 across the country with the most number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline.

With January being Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Jenna Novak and other people who work with victims of the practice want everyone to know the warning signs.

"Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery where an individual is compelled to engage either in commercial sex or some kind of labor through the means of forced fraud or coercion," she explains.

Warning signs include the person in question not being allowed to leave or come and go as she or he wishes, working excessively long or unusual hours, not being allowed breaks or having unusual restrictions, and appearing in poor physical and mental health.

To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text "HELP" to "BeFree" on your cell phone.

Novak adds that sex trafficking is easier to recognize and more often reported than labor trafficking.

"We're seeing mostly sex trafficking that is coming out of North Carolina,” she states. “That does not mean that there is more sex trafficking than labor trafficking in North Carolina. Sex trafficking is talked about a lot more and it's a lot easier to recognize those signs than it is to recognize the labor trafficking victim."

Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline has received more than 96,000 calls, and identified more than 40,000 victims.

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