What we need to know about human trafficking in North Dakota

NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Human trafficking is difficult to talk about among adults, and it may seem impossible to talk about among children. However, it’s important that we do, because human trafficking happens all around us.

Since its founding in 2015, the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force has helped more than 700 victims in our state. 71% are adults and 29% are children.
It’s a serious problem that local organizations, police and federal agencies have to address together.

According to NDHTTF, many victims are advertised for sex online and trafficked out of local and rural hotels and homes.
Historically, this happens in a lot of boomtowns, where there’s a sharp increase in population and a lot more money coming through.
Criminals see this as an opportunity to bring drugs and illegal activities to the area.
There is a stereotype too that only runaway children are victims of human trafficking in North Dakota.
According to the task force, many parents and guardians involved in human trafficking trade their child for sex for drugs and alcohol.

Jose Perez, from the FBI, says, “As far as our priorities, there’s really no greater calling in law enforcement for the FBI than to protect the children in our society. So, really, our Crimes Against Children program, holistically, that’s what it’s dedicated to do.”

Human trafficking, especially among children, happens behind closed doors and may go on for a long period of time.
Kids may not identify as a victim because the behavior has been normalized.

For more information on how you can help and identify the signs of human trafficking in North Dakota and the surround areas, click here.

To check out what the FBI is doing about Human Trafficking throughout the Upper Midwest and our country, click here.

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