Human Trafficking Discussed At Governors Conference

Jul 25, 2019, 2:07 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Governors from around the country have gathered in Salt Lake City for the National Governors Association conference.

The annual event allows governors from across the United States to discuss crucial issues states are facing, including state-federal partnerships.

One of those issues is human trafficking. Governors spoke about the problem in an open discussion with Cindy McCain, the co-chair of the Human Trafficking Council; and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. They spoke about their efforts in Arizona that have helped with the worldwide epidemic.

In Utah, multiple agencies are working together to combat human trafficking, including the FBI and the attorney general’s office.

According to the attorney general’s office, Utah currently has 25 active human trafficking investigations. Last year, law enforcement had 49 investigations and 44 victims. In 2017, there were 61 investigations and 36 victims, and 45 investigations and 55 victims in 2016.

McCain on Thursday discussed how working as a team from government to law enforcement and local organizations is a way to fight against human trafficking and common misconceptions about the crisis.

“It is everywhere and these kids are domestic kids,” McCain said. “The belief, in some circumstances, is this only happens overseas. It’s not the case. It happens right here under our noses in SLC. It’s happening right outside the front door of this hotel.”

According to the FBI, human trafficking generates billions of dollars of profit each year, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing criminal activities

McCain said it’s important for the government to implement education on human trafficking in schools as well, from elementary to high school, and that it is not part of sex education, but a safety issue.

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Human Trafficking Discussed At Governors Conference