By: MOLLY WICKER
Action News Jacksonville recently cited the 2017 Federal Human Trafficking Report in a recent feature about human trafficking in Florida. According to the report, Florida ranks third in the nation for active sex and labor trafficking cases being prosecuted in the federal court system.
The Middle District of Florida, which includes Northeast Florida, has the most human trafficking cases in the state: 28 cases, most of which are sex trafficking.
The Federal Human Trafficking Report, which is a project of The Human Trafficking Institute, is the first of its kind.
Florida now ranks third in the country with 59 active human trafficking cases in federal court last year, according to the report.
“More victims are being identified, more cases are being worked on,” said Alyssa Beck, a trafficking survivor and victim advocate. “I know people will see these numbers and sometimes get scared, but I would be even more scared if I was seeing no numbers because we know it’s happening in our community.”
Beck also notes that Jacksonville is an attractive place for traffickers.
“Jacksonville has a lot of hotels and also I-95 runs right through Jacksonville. And Jacksonville is the very beginning of Florida. So, it’s really just easy access to a lot of different things that traffickers may need, or buyers may need,” Beck said.
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