Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is reminding others that January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Combating human trafficking has been one of Schmidt's biggest concerns and goals since taking office. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is one of the largest and fastest-growing criminal industries in the world. It is based on recruiting, harboring and transporting people for the purpose of exploitation. Both sex trafficking and labor trafficking occur in Kansas and both adults and children are victims.
Kansas’ location and interstate system make it a major transportation area for victims of human trafficking. Under Schmidt, the state has seen its rating rise from "F" to "A" as given by Shared Hope International, a victim advocacy group that seeks to end sex trafficking and exploitation of women and children worldwide. Kansas is one of only six states to accomplish that feat.
The public can assist by reporting suspicious activity to the national hotline at 888-3737-888 or to local law enforcement in an emergency situation. The month of January is also being recognized as Stalking Awarness Month, as declared by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly last month.