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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Human Trafficking in Connecticut

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The issue of human trafficking has gained attention at both the national and state levels. Many state and non-governmental agencies in Connecticut have zeroed in on the crime in the last few years.

Since 2012, the University of Connecticut identified 40 survivors in Connecticut. Since 2008, the state Department of Children and Families has identified over 120 child survivors in the state.  These numbers likely are underrepresented, as they only account for those who have been identified and served by an agency.

According to Stefania Agliano of The Connecticut Department of Children and Families: "it is important to note that all children are at risk because of the manipulative nature of traffickers. Traffickers can easily use social media to lure individuals from behind a computer screen, building 'trusting relationships with potential victims."

Whether kidnapped or seduced, these children are dragged into a little-spoken-of underworld of pornography, prostitution or sex tourism.  According to a local advocate group, more than 100,000 U.S. children are forced to engage in prostitution or pornography annually and these children often are marketed in pornography as 'college girls.'

For more information, please read this excellent article by Rachel Chinapen, published in the New Haven Register