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Albany County Marks Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Posted: Friday, December 22, 2017 10:22 AM

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today announced the county will again commemorate National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11. The issue of human trafficking is of growing concern and to that end, the county is again utilizing Safe Harbor funding for billboards and signage in CDTA bus shelters and on buses in the county.

“The issue of human trafficking is one that takes a terrible toll on victims and their families,” said McCoy. “This year’s public awareness campaign will seek to encourage victims to reach out for help and help us work together to address this human rights issue. We know from experience that victims are afraid to come forward. We will continue working to change that.”

According to the state Office of Children and Family Services, two types of Human Trafficking can be found in New York and in the United States. Sex trafficking, defined as profiting from prostitution by providing drugs, using false or misleading statements, withholding or destroying government documents, a pattern of coercive conduct, or other acts. The second is Labor Trafficking, defined as forcing or inducing a person to engage in labor, or recruiting, enticing, harboring or transporting another by providing drugs, withholding or destroying government documents, force, or a pattern of coercive conduct.

The data provided by the state OCFS and from the Polaris Project and the National Human Trafficking Hotline reflects the impact of human trafficking:

  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimated that 1 out of 6 endangered runaways were likely child sex trafficking victims.
  • The Polaris Project estimates that in the U.S. the number of victims of human trafficking is in the hundreds of thousands.
  • In 2016 New York State ranked fifth nationally in the number of reported cases of human trafficking.
  • The average age of initial sex trafficking victimization is 18 years old, 80 percent of identified victims are female and nearly 50 percent of victims are children.

The public outreach campaign features six billboards in the county, all of which will be in place now through the end of January. The billboards feature a hotline number and the social media hash tag #IMNOTFORSALE. The program is funded the Safe Harbor Project, part of the 2008 New York State Safe Harbor for Exploited Children Act, legislation aimed at protecting and securing services for sexually exploited youth.      



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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy