On our way to Utah we spent some time in the Las Vegas airport. I was surprised to see this sign on the inside of the door of the stall I used in an airport washroom. I had never seen a sign like it before and I wanted to know why it was there so I did a little research.
- The United States Justice Department has named Las Vegas as one of the top twenty destinations in the world for human trafficking.
- Las Vegas is a major hub for child sex trafficking because of the hyper-sexualized entertainment industry there, easy access to alcohol and drugs and twenty-four hour gambling.
- The National Human Trafficking Resource Centre reported receiving 277 calls and emails in 2015 about human trafficking in Nevada.
- Each year, Metro Police in Las Vegas rescue around 400 children victimized by human/ sex traffickers.
There are some signs of hope however………
- Catherine Marie Cortez Masto is currently a Democratic Senator from Nevada. In 2013 when she was Nevada’s Attorney General she introduced a bill that established the human trafficking of children and adults as a crime, making its victims eligible for state assistance and allowing them to sue their traffickers. Those convicted could have their assets seized and liquidated to provide relief to their victims.
- Hospital personnel in Las Vegas are being taught to look for signs that patients may be human trafficking victims.
- Billboards and signs like the ones I saw in the Las Vegas airport washroom offer a hotline number for victims to call to get help. Some do.
Human trafficking is epidemic world-wide. There are more than 40 million victims a year who are part of a 150 billion dollar industry. The sign I saw in the Las Vegas airport indicates steps are being taken to try to deal with the problem. Look here for suggestions about things you can do .