Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 


Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

Daily Newscasts

Human Trafficking: 46 Reports from KY to National Hotline in 2015

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. (Greg Stotelmyer)
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. (Greg Stotelmyer)
January 4, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. - It's been two-and-a-half years since Kentucky improved its human trafficking laws to provide "safe harbor" to child victims, a move their advocates say has increased awareness of the problem.

There were 46 calls made from Kentucky last year to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline. January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and Jenna Novak, regional specialist with the hotline, wants others to know it's more common than they might assume.

"Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery," says Novak. "Where an individual is compelled to engage either in commercial sex or some kind of labor, through the means of force, fraud or coercion. I think it's happening under our nose, everywhere, all of the time."

Warning signs include a person not being allowed to leave or to come and go as they wish, working excessively long or unusual hours, not being allowed breaks or having unusual restrictions, and appearing in poor physical or mental health. To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text "HELP" to "BeFree" on a cell phone.

The key improvement to Kentucky's human trafficking laws, which went into effect in July 2013, provided minors what is known as "safe harbor," treating them as victims, not criminals. Amy Nace-DeGonda, case manager/outreach coordinator with the Human Trafficking Program at Catholic Charities of Louisville, says the stronger law has helped identify more victims.

"We've made great strides," says Nace-DeGonda. "We're seeing more victim service agencies pop up and more money coming into those agencies to help work with victims of human trafficking. But we obviously still have a long way to go."

The Kentucky Rescue and Restore Coalition says 332 victims of human trafficking have been identified in the state since 2008, 197 of whom were trafficked as children. Calls to the national hotline from Kentucky last year ranked 23rd in the country, Kentucky's population is 26th.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY