Human trafficking remains a global mechanism for the dehumanization of and insidious profiting off of vulnerable people. Human trafficking endures when people are kidnapped, sold, subjected to sexual violence and forced into physical labor. It endures in cosmopolitan cities, in small towns, and in western and eastern worlds. It endures in modern day human markets and on seedy websites.

It endures in Greenville County, South Carolina—the state’s leader for reported human trafficking cases—and throughout the state, according to the South Carolina Attorney General’s office, which recently convened a coalition to confront the problem plaguing various communities.

“South Carolina sits right between two of the top-20 hubs for [human trafficking] – Atlanta and Charlotte,” State Attorney General Alan Wilson told the Greenville News. “That’s why we created our Human Trafficking Task Force. It’s going to take all of us working together to fight this modern-day slavery.”

In 2016, almost 80 cases were reported in South Carolina, per the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force Annual Report. More than half of those cases were sex trafficking, while 17 were for labor trafficking, two for sex and labor trafficking and three that were designated other or not specified. The office of the state attorney general recently hosted the Southeast Human Trafficking Coalition meeting. Human rights advocates from multiple states participated.

“To turn the tide of trafficking we must be able to properly define it, recognize it, and know who to call when we see it,” Jerry Redman, chief executive officer of Second Life Tennessee (Chattanooga), said.

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