Group calls for action to stop human trafficking

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Local agencies are teaming up to combat human trafficking, which experts say can happen right in our own neighborhoods.

Members of the Western Slope Initiative presented to Mesa County Commissioners Monday morning, asking for collaboration on protection, prevention and prosecution to end the crime.

"Train our children and give them insights into this dangerous area of our society," said Tom Acker, a member of the Western Slope Initiative. "We also want to find ways to prosecute perpetrators and that could require legislation."

Human trafficking is the use of coercion, fraudulence or threats to get sex or labor from an individual.

Acker said Colorado's interstate highways along with the tourism and labor industries make it an easy target for human trafficking.

"It would be important if we were to consider one of our children being caught up in this," Acker said. "The industry itself is the highest grossing industry after drugs."

27 million people in the world are forced into this crime, he said.

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