Human Trafficking In Florida Hits Record Levels

One of my career-long frustrations has been the lack of attention human trafficking receives. There are few thoughts worse to me than helpless individuals sold many times mostly for sexual purposes. That we lose thousands per year into it, and the problem continues to escalate. I’d hoped the attention of the Jupiter day spa case or the reevaluating of Jeffrey Epstein abuses would do more to spur change, but it still doesn’t seem to me like we’re winning the battle. 

Now, the good news is increased law enforcement's success in taking down these traffickers. The bigger problem is the pervasiveness. More arrests seem to lead to more arrests, meaning it’s likely the problem is just more significant than we realized. In Florida’s state session we acted with hospitality workers now receiving training and playing an active role in reporting suspicious situations they witness. We also know law enforcement across the state has been coordinating task forces aimed at curbing abuses. But is it working? 

In last year in Florida, 400 victims were identified/recovered.

Notice something there? The victim ID rate has increased by nearly 1,400 annually! The highest rates of trafficking in the state were recorded in Broward, Miami-Dade, Duval and Orange Counties. With the Super Bowl set to come to Miami, you see what my concerns are just a few months from now. Thank you to law enforcement for the increased activity and evident success but clearly there’s a huge problem that goes far beyond the salacious details of Robert Kraft massages or Jefferey Epstein abuses. We’ve got much more work to do to protect potential victims who are mostly young girls/women.

Photo by: Getty Images North America

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