The human trafficking industry makes roughly $32 billion each year, according to Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes. The Polaris Project, the organization that handles the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, reported a 40 percent increase in calls after many states initiated a shelter-in-place order.
There are organizations that help to fight against human trafficking; one of those is called Operation Underground Railroad.
Founder of Operation Underground Railroad Timothy Ballard grew up in California, earned numerous degrees from two different universities and worked as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security for over 10 years, mainly spending his time working on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
After leaving the government in 2013, he founded the non-profit organization and has been fighting against human trafficking ever since.
Ballard discussed the threat of trafficking locally, nationally and globally with Reyes and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
Ballard challenged numerous world leaders on the issue, and, in 2019, President Donald Trump joined Ballard, Reyes and O’Brien in fighting human trafficking.
“It was my pleasure to join Attorney General Reyes and share the work President Trump is doing to combat human trafficking,” O’Brien said. “We will continue to combat these heinous crimes.”
In late August of this year, Reyes led a coalition of state attorneys general in asking for the administration to fund and support The National Child ID Act.
The act would help fund kits for children K–6 who were abducted or ran away. Each kit costs $1.76 per child, and could protect 30 million children across America for just below 52 million dollars.
“Statistics show that more than 800,000 children go missing each year, including runaways and those abducted,” Reyes said. “That is one child gone every 40 seconds, and we are seeing those statistics rise along with child sexual abuse, exploitation and human trafficking.”
Ballard was also involved in the 2018 documentary film, “Operation Toussaint: Operation Underground Railroad and the Fight to End Modern Day Slavery,” in which Ballard and his special forces team go undercover in Haiti to bust a ring of sex traffickers.
The film begins in Salt Lake City with Reyes speaking to a conference about the issue and presenting Ballard before beginning preparations for the mission.
Human trafficking happens in every country and could happen to anyone.
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