Sex trafficking is modern day slavery that exists as a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry both Internationally and in the United States denying globally over 40.3 million people freedom. And, some of those people right here in New Orleans.
Why? Because New Orleans is home to the infamous Bourbon Street, festivals every day of the year, sporting events, and conventions all year long. In addition, it is connected to the world through ports, air travel, and multiple major interstates. All of these factors make New Orleans a hot bed for human trafficking.
Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will and the loss of one’s freedom. Some of the victims in the New Orleans are here for particular events like Mardi Gras and the Sugar Bowl, while others are work locally for long periods of time. All of them need to be free.
Exploitation is at the heart of human trafficking, particularly in our youth and has been said to be the most commonly overlooked, misunderstood, and unaddressed forms of child abuse in the United States – and New Orleans.
Victims of sex trafficking can be anyone from any socio-economic background. They can be US citizens, foreign nationals, women, men, children, and LGBTQ individuals. Vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers, including runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war or social discrimination. Our hearts are broken for all of them.
You can see that the problem, both here at home and around the world, is massive. There’s much more that we could share with you (and we have on our Resources page) but you are probably here because you want to be part of the solution. We invite you to learn about our solutions: Awareness Education, Outreach Intervention, and Prayer Team. Before you leave, please be sure to explore how you can get involved. Thank you for visiting FreeNola.org.