January 18, 2019 10:08 AM
One in every seven missing children ends up getting involved in trafficking. Those children being forced to have sex for money and many of them are right here in our area. January is human trafficking awareness month.
We have known young girls are being forced to have sex for money, but in recent years there have been more reports of young men forced to do the same.
Nationally, there are about 25,000 endangered runaways every year and those children are most at risk for this. Officials at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children say there are at least 100 cases of child trafficking in the Greater Rochester area and it's even worse in bigger cites.
Even scarier, there are people looking for kids to target. Criminals are using social media, malls, parks and more to find vulnerable children and convince them to join trafficking rings often disguised as "families."
Ed Suk, New York Director for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says there are signs parents and loved ones can watch out for to keep kids safe.
"Maybe there has been changes in their behavior, maybe they're wearing clothing has changed, maybe they're wearing clothes that are more provocative, access to large amounts of money, they may have significant cash in their purse or pockets...multiple cell phones hotel key cards, receipts from hotels in the area...things you wouldn't normally see in the hands of a teenager," Suk said.
Keep in mind, a child doesn't have to be missing to be trafficked. A lot of kids come right back home after experiencing this abuse. If you suspect a child is involved in any sort of sex crime, you can report it online on the Cyber Tip Line by the NCMEC.
Updated: January 18, 2019 10:08 AM
Created: January 18, 2019 08:25 AM
Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company