Grand Island has the most reported cases of human trafficking per capita in Nebraska.

Published: Jan. 29, 2019 at 10:53 PM CST
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Human Trafficking is considered modern day slavery. People are bought, sold, treated as property and forced to do the unimaginable.

A teen at Northwest High School organized a human trafficking awareness event to activate and inform her classmates and community of the growing problem in Nebraska.

Grand Island has the most reported cases per capita of human trafficking in the state of Nebraska.

"In my own school and community people can be trafficked, teens like me. Nobody should be the property of someone else, it just shouldn't happen, said teen, Mackenzie Vogt.

Human traffickers go unnoticed because they fit in.

"Human Traffickers can look like you, like me, the boy next door. He's not the creepy guy in the trench coat," said Stephanie Olson, The Set Me Free Project.

Its not just women being trafficked, along with teen girls, men, boys, even children are trafficked. Police departments now have special departments just to deal with the growing trafficking problem.

"We had to learn a whole new way of talking to people, start from the perspective of there is a very high likelihood that they have been a victim of some traumatic event and let's start there," said Sgt. Tony Kavan, Nebraska State Patrol, Troop C.

Victims are the most vulnerable in society. They can be any age, race or gender, they live in cities, suburbs and rural areas.

"In Nebraska, we are nice, and traffickers take advantage of that, they know that we are going to trust them when they come into our presence," adds Olson.

Human trafficking is a $32 Billion yearly business, the fastest growing criminal activity globally.

"If you are in the tri-cities and you are seeing this and you need help, call us," adds Kavan.

If you are a victim, or know someone who is a victim, call 9-1-1.

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