Though few are aware of the severity of the problem, human trafficking affects tens of thousands of people in America alone, despite the tireless efforts of law enforcement, advocacy groups, government agencies, and the international community.
According to a 2013 Congressional Research Service report, more than 17,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year. Some are forced into work. Others are exploited for sex or sold into prostitution rings. In all, human trafficking is a modern form of slavery that adds up to a $32 billion a year industry.
Recently, I was able to participate in a rescue mission with Tim Ballard, the founder of OURrescue.org, to Colombia that saved over 100 young girls from child sex slavery. It was both excruciatingly painful and inspiring. Liberating these young girls from the hands of cartel members will be forever imprinted in my mind—and will be a guiding force that helps me to protect more families and Utahns from this violent crime in the future.
Today, there are over 2 million children worldwide enslaved in this heinous industry, many of whom who reside in the United States.
To learn more about this worldwide epidemic and how to become an Abolitionist, please take time to watch the following trailer:
To find out more about the recent mission to Colombia that I participated in with fellow Abolitionists, see media links below:
Salt Lake Tribune: Trib Talk with Utah AG Sean Reyes
Deseret News: Utah A.G. Sean Reyes made secret trip to rescue child sex slaves in Colombia
Salt Lake Tribune: A.G. Sean Reyes, Utah group played part in Colombian sex-trafficking sting