The City of Tampa will be lighting up blue in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, recognized nationally on January 11th with #WearBlueDay.
Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that exploits vulnerable populations for both sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Victims of trafficking can be of any age, gender, nationality, or background--making it critical for the community to know the signs and what they can do to help.
In 2019, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received over 48,000 calls, texts and other contacts which led to the identification of over 22,000 trafficking victims and survivors. This was nearly a 20% increase over the previous year in the number of victims and survivors who contacted the hotline directly.
Florida is considered a hotspot of human trafficking, largely due to its location and the thriving agriculture and tourism industries, two of the top industries prone to human trafficking cases. To help combat human trafficking in our state and community, the Tampa Police Department actively investigates suspicion of human trafficking, offering help to victims, and bringing perpetrators to justice.
“For the Tampa Police Department, human trafficking awareness is front of mind every day all year long,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “Our officers work hard to identify suspicious cases, work with victims to get them to safety and ensure the criminals behind these heinous acts are arrested immediately.”
As part of the City of Tampa’s continued efforts to combat human trafficking in our community, all City of Tampa employees were also required to complete a mandatory Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Training by November 30th 2020. This important training was offered in partnership with Hillsborough County and provided by the International Association of Human Trafficking Investigators (IAHTI).
To learn more about human trafficking, visit HumanTraffickingHotline.org
To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733)
If you suspect human trafficking in our community, report it immediately to the Tampa Police Department. For Emergencies, dial 9-1-1. For non-emergencies, call the Tampa Police Department Non-Emergency line at: (813) 231-6130.