Tennessee ranks number one in effort to stop human trafficking

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Posted at 9:16 AM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 23:46:20-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new report ranks Tennessee as the top state leading efforts to stop human trafficking.

Shared Hope International, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing conditions that foster sex trafficking, released the report. Each state is based on 41 key legislative components. This determines how child sex trafficking is handled in the country.

Over the last three years, Tennessee has ranked number one for its collaborative work to address human trafficking.

"Typically you don't see law enforcement and non-profits working together a whole lot and so this is an area where I think we've been able to development some really unique partnerships," Margie Quin with the organization End Slavery Tennessee said.

Lawmakers extended the civil statutes of limitations and removed criminal statutes of limitations. This allows survivors more time to recognize their victimization before seeking justice through the court system.

However, there's still work that needs to be done, including non-criminalization of children as prostitutes and access to support services for child trafficking victims.

If you suspect someone is the victim of human trafficking, here’s some signs to look out for:

  • One way to spot a victim is their clothing. They may be more under dressed than the person they are traveling with or they don’t have on appropriate attire.
  • They are afraid and not making eye contact.
  • They don't know where they are or any travel information.
  • A child may appear to be malnourished and/or shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, such as bruises, scars or cigarette burns.

You may see signs like this posted in restrooms of places like the airport. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1 (888) 373-7888.