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[ATG] ‘National Human Trafficking Awareness Day’ spurs public awareness
Start Date: 1/11/2013 All Day
End Date: 1/11/2013
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – People across the nation today recognized Jan. 11 as “National Human Trafficking Awareness Day” in hopes of giving a voice to victims and educating the public about the crime.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said public awareness remains a critical component to stopping the crime. Human trafficking is tied as the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, just behind drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Human trafficking prevention is a year-round focus, but today helps shine a national spotlight on a dark issue that has impacted our state and the rest of the country,” Zoeller said. “Efforts to stop the demand for commercial sex and prosecute traffickers have included public awareness campaigns and strengthened state laws, but it’s clear that more needs to be done. I am committed to using all available resources to help fight this horrific crime.”

This week the president proclaimed the month of January as “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month” and reminded Americans of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  

In November, Zoeller, joined by 45 other attorneys general, called on Congress to reauthorize a law that helps protect human trafficking victims and prosecute traffickers. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which funds efforts to combat modern-day slavery, expired in 2011 and so far legislators have failed to reauthorize it.

Last year, Zoeller supported a new state law that closed a loophole in Indiana law respecting the crime of “promotion of human trafficking” and also more effectively defined the crime of “promotion of human trafficking of a minor” so that prosecutors could bring charges against traffickers even if no force was used, in situations involving prostitution and/or participation in sexual conduct. Zoeller said he plans to support additional legislation this year that will facilitate prosecution of traffickers and protection of victims. Since the 2012 law was enacted, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Marion County Prosecutor’s Office have brought four cases against alleged human traffickers.

Zoeller is the co-chair of the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans (IPATH) task force. The task force has trained more than 4,000 persons including law enforcement, cab drivers, first responders, medical professionals and others so that they can identify human trafficking victims and know how to respond. 

As part of the public awareness effort, the Attorney General’s office is collaborating with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and the Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) to educate Indiana truck drivers about sex trafficking. The IMTA is challenging their members to provide training on human trafficking for all their drivers, and TAT has provided thousands of training DVDs, wallet-sized trafficking indicator cards, and decals to be placed in truck cabs, which display the National Human Trafficking Hotline number.

AG Zoeller is the co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Standing Committee Against Human Trafficking and has been publicly supportive of many efforts to combat trafficking, including an initiative to reduce demand called “Don’t Buy the Lie.”

For more information about the Attorney General’s human trafficking prevention efforts visit www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/humantrafficking/.  

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: Erin.Reece@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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