HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Members of a Mississippi organization that works to increase awareness of human trafficking is reacting to the release of an annual U.S. Government assessment on trafficking Thursday.
The Trafficking in Persons Report from the State Department examines the efforts of more than 180 governments to combat trafficking.
Much of it focuses on Asia, but the Gulfport-based group Advocates For Freedom said human trafficking is also a problem in the U.S. and in Mississippi.
"It's estimated that 300,000 children a year are victims of trafficking in the United States," said Dora Harbin, an Advocates for Freedom volunteer from Hattiesburg. "It's all around us and it's difficult for people to recognize it. We have had several arrests in Hattiesburg in labor and sexual trafficking."
Advocates For Freedom recently put up two billboards in Hattiesburg to raise awareness about human trafficking.
In August, the group will host training for new volunteers at the Hattiesburg Public Library.