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Human Trafficking

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April 2, 2022

Nebraska Sunrise News just completed a five-part in-depth series on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking. Through numerous interviews with law enforcement, victims, and advocacy groups, the realization of the tangled complexities involved in this heart-wrenching criminal activity both perplexes and infuriates.

With the transient and shadowy nature of trafficking making detection, arrests, and prosecution difficult, are we doing enough? Why are we still dealing with this on such a massive scale? Even more concerning, why is this horrific activity proliferating, often right before our eyes? We know the answer. We’ve ALWAYS known the answer.

Money. Power. Exploitation. Manipulation. Sex.  

Human trafficking touches every part of the globe. Nebraska isn’t exempt. In fact, the despicable network of criminals, enablers and groomers flourishes within our communities. Communities we deem safe and family friendly – Nebraska, the Good Life – crawl with the infestation of these criminal elements. Nebraska is used as a destination and transportation hub.

In many cases the drug offenses associated with human trafficking result in higher sentences than the actual act of trafficking and sexual assault. Is it because drug laws are easier to prove and prosecute? If so, this glaring hole in the system needs addressed. Yesterday.  

Do we provide enough educational material, teaching and instruction to our young people who are at risk of being groomed into trafficking via social media and other platforms that prey and lure them in?

We know social media remains fertile ground for human trafficking. Do we do enough to teach – and monitor – our children on the dangers?  We have extensive drug education for young people. We have extensive sex education for young people. Both laudable and proven. We need to prioritize education in the realm of the dangers of social media and the realities of sex trafficking.

We call for harsher sentencing guidelines.

We call on prosecuting attorneys to fight for maximum sentencing and for judges to hand them down.

We call for stricter state and federal laws.

We call on politicians to stand up and prioritize the issue.

We call for an increased allocation of money, labor and resources to law enforcement specifically to curb trafficking.

We call on federal, state, county and local officials and departments to work in congruence to fight this scourge on humanity.

We call on communities, organizations, institutions and systems to embrace and protect those particularly vulnerable to the manipulation and coercion of groomers and traffickers.

We call for more volunteers and resources for advocacy groups.

We call for support and assistance – real support and assistance – for the recovery of all those victimized by trafficking.

We call for the vigilance of all Nebraskans. See something – say something.

Together, we can do better. -30-

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