Trafficking campaign coming to a highway rest stop near you

Published: Jun. 16, 2017 at 5:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Minnesota ranks near the top when it comes to aspects of human trafficking. The FBI says child prostitution is a major issue in the Twin Cities, and in 2015, the state was third highest for number of trafficking cases. MN DOT is launching a new campaign in conjunction with the Superbowl coming to make travelers more aware.

“What you see could set someone free”: that’s the message on the posters the DOT is putting up at 41 rest areas across the state. That includes the Moorhead rest area, that particular location like many others is open 24 hours. The state says travel is often involved in trafficking situations as victims are taken from a central base to other places where they’re exploited.

But would you be able to recognize a trafficking victim?

“Probably the company they keep. The 2 different people, you know if you see a young 18, 19 year old pretty girl with a 50 year old guy there's probably something wrong there,” said Daniel Molino traveling through from Boston, Massachusetts.

But other folks at the Moorhead rest stop said they had no idea.

“To be completely honest I don't think I probably would. I don't really know the signs that well to be completely honest. I mean I would want to be able to, I just don't' know the signs,” said Nathan Smith traveling from Grand Forks.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline said if someone appears fearful, anxious, paranoid when police are mentioned or avoids eye contact, they could be a victim. Victims can also appear malnourished, show signs of physical abuse and have few possessions.

And according to the state, the average age a sex trafficking victim is first sold: 13-years-old.

Click the links for more information.