HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Southern Miss professor hopes her service on a new state task force will help increase awareness of human trafficking and will aid law enforcement in their efforts to arrest those who exploit women, children or laborers.
Dr. Tamara Hurst, an assistant professor in USM's School of Social Work, was recently appointed to Gov. Phil Bryant's task force on human trafficking.
It was created three months ago.
Hurst is one of about 20 members on the task force and also serves as the head of one of the group's six sub-committees.
Hurst said it's important that the state puts new emphasis on combating human trafficking.
"It's a human rights and social justice issue," she said.
"We need to address it, much like child abuse was back in the '70s, We didn't recognize, now we know it's here. And we need to do the same thing with trafficking," she said.
The group will present recommendations to the governor by July 1.