Updated: 07/02/2014 7:42 PM
Created: 07/02/2014 11:56 AM WHEC.com
By: Nikki Rudd
Some people think human trafficking is a problem you only see on TV or in other countries. But it is happening in the Rochester area.
Just in the past year, 29 minors have been victims of human trafficking in Monroe County. Those are just the ones officials know about.
On Wednesday, The Safe Harbour Program launched two new videos to raise awareness. The goal is to get the word out and educate the public. The videos also explain there is help available for young people who are exploited.
The Safe Harbour Program is a joint effort by Monroe County and the Center for Youth. It provides comprehensive services to victims like safe housing and case management.
Since 2008, minors are no longer charged with prostitution, but instead are treated as a victim.”
Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Executive, said, “The latest statistic is 2.5 million victims have been identified worldwide and of those identified, 98% are young women and girls. That’s disturbing.”
Elaine Spaull, Center for Youth said, “There’s been nothing more difficult than the heartbreak we see in trafficking, the heartbreak we see with the young people. But there’s hope.”
Monroe County was chosen as one of the first counties in the state to provide this program. One hundred and twelve thousand dollars of taxpayer dollars were given to fund it last year. Leaders hope that funding continues.
To see the Maggie Brooks/Elaine Spaull video, click here.
To see the full-length animation, click here.
To see the 60 second animation, click here.
To learn more about the Safe Harbour Program, click here.