HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – For a decade now, January has been designated National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
North Alabama leaders want to continue raising awareness by keeping the conversation going.
On Wednesday, January 22, the Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce and the Junior League of Huntsville are hosting what they call a ‘community conversation’ from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
This community conversation will focus on human trafficking in Alabama, and the role that every single person can play to prevent it in workplaces and communities.
The chamber received an overwhelming response to the event raising awareness and the event sold out.
Human trafficking is a big issue in Alabama and the rest of the country, according to reports.
End It Alabama reports that human trafficking is the second-largest criminal industry in the world– bringing in around 150 billion dollars annually.
David Pinkleton, of the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force and End It Alabama, says the state has come a long way in fighting human trafficking. He says people are more aware of what to look for now.
“If you’re at a Walmart parking lot or a Waffle House and you see individuals who don’t appear to be in control… somebody is controlling them. You are seeing tattoo’s on them… they are branded… could be a student that’s continually having absences in school if you’re an educator or a counselor,” said David Pinkleton of the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force.
He says Huntsville is in the middle of places like Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta. Pinkleton says that Interstate 20 is known as a superhighway for human trafficking.