Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that happens in every state, including Alabama.

“This shouldn’t even be on our radar, but unfortunately it is in the times we live in.” Child Abuse Prevention Services educator Pam Rogers said. “I hope that people will be more aware of the statistics.”

That’s what Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS) and the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force joined together to do Tuesday. A human trafficking awareness workshop was held to educate local school counselors and social workers of warning signs to look for in their students.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for school counselors and social workers to be here and be able to use this knowledge and take it back to our schools and be more proactive and prepared in helping students that might have these signs,” Myrtlewood Elementary School counselor Holly Tanner said.

Tanner told WVUA 23 about some luring techniques she’s learned to warn her students about.

“Bad guys are not always going to look like bad guys.” Tanner said. “They use tricks. We have talked about even with the younger kids about puppies and candy. You will be amazed at how many kids say, ‘Oh yeah, if someone asked be to go help them look for their lost puppy, I would go.’ We try to educate our students on these tricks.”

Rogers said it’s small steps like this workshop collaboration that will hopefully deter future human trafficking in our area.

“Our kids are vulnerable,” she said. “Our students are our most vulnerable resource. I believe what the task force is doing, what CAPS is doing, and the people and our community. I really believe that we are trying to be proactive and work together and be the change.”

To learn more about warning signs and what the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force does, call them at (205) 248-4750. Also, take a look at the graphics below to see some of the resources the Task Force uses.

Categories: Archives, Local News