Human trafficking summit teaches SC teens how to help in the fight against the crime

South Carolina News
There are 72 human trafficking cases currently pending in South Carolina courts, but the Attorney General’s Office wants to make sure that number doesn’t go up. The office hosted a Human Trafficking Teen Summit to get the young adults involved in the fight too.

“My peers are the ones being trafficked. that’s why When you see child sex trafficking or human trafficking victims.. it’s so prevalent because the youth are uneducated. They don’t know about human trafficking,” said Reilly Arford.
The incoming chair for the Youth Task Force explained why this type of event is important for those in his age range.
The summit wants to change that and educate the high school students.
Kathryn Moorehead, the director of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking explained the goal of raising awareness among teenagers.
“Traffickers are selling their children. Families are involved. So we’re trying to educate families on the different vulnerabilities they may encounter,” said Moorehead.
The summit showed the high school students different warning signs to look out for to hopefully prevent the teens from becoming a victim. The summit focused on social media, which is a main source of interaction for teens.

“Now that we see websites and apps that are dedicated to introducing people online who have never met in real life and using those websites to facilitate a relationship and meet these offenders in real life,” explained Joe Ryan the education coordinator for Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
For teenagers, social media has now become an additional threat.

“They’re connected through those online apps and messengers like Instagram or Facebook and it’s pretty scary because a child may not know that could potentially be dangerous,” added Samantha Gaton, the outgoing chair of the Youth Task Force.
Human traffickers typically target 12-15 year olds. And in South Carolina 22 cases of human trafficking last year involved minors.
Greenville county is one of the top 5 counties in the state for human trafficking, along with; Charleston, Richland, Horry, and Beaufort counties. 

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