Child advocates warn N. AL of its role in human trafficking - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Child advocates warn N. AL of its role in human trafficking

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Advocates said proximity to a hub of human trafficking is cause for communities to fight back. (Source: WAFF) Advocates said proximity to a hub of human trafficking is cause for communities to fight back. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Some call human trafficking "modern day slavery." Both phrases were pushed back into the limelight Monday following the revelation of a nationwide child prostitution crackdown.

The news hit especially close to home here in North Alabama, where the FBI and its partners recovered one juvenile victim, arrested three suspected pimps and identified four other pimps. A total of 281 pimps were arrested nationwide.

"We're finding that it is more prevalent than we realize," said Deborah Callins, Prevention Director at the National Children's Advocacy Center. "Atlanta is the number one place in the country for human trafficking – and that is just a drive away. We need to be prepared."

Callins said "being prepared" comes in many forms: education, harsher or more applicable laws, and of course, attention from law enforcement.

Huntsville and Madison Police Departments assisted FBI agents with the busts, along with the Madison County Sheriff's Office. An unidentified Madison motel was part of the operation.

Callins said the local Huntsville-Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force recently inspired a similar statewide force. The plan is to eventually present a report on the issues of human trafficking to the governor and the state legislature.

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