Human Trafficking

A woman waiting for a commuter train.
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Human trafficking continues to be an insidious and widespread problem in North Carolina. The  exploitation of people for sex or for labor can happen in a wide range of situations, from illicit massage parlors to farm operations or even well-frequented restaurants.

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The North Carolina county where the most human trafficking charges are filed is starting a specialized court to deal with the crimes.

The chairwoman of the N.C. Human Trafficking Commission tells the Fayetteville Observer that the court in Cumberland County is the first of its kind in the state. Chairwoman Libby Magee Coles says the commission provided a $241,000 grant to get the court started.

migrant farm workers in the field
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Legal Aid of North Carolina just released details of a $75,000 settlement involving three labor contractors who recruited 13 workers from Mexico to work in North Carolina through the federal H-2A visa program.

For North Carolina, 181 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Hotline in 2016, which included 130 cases of sex trafficking and 41 cases of labor trafficking
Polaris

Reports of human trafficking in North Carolina jumped 62 percent in 2016, the biggest year-over-year increase in recent memory.

Photo of a girl with red tape over her mouth
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North Carolina is among the top 10 states with the highest number of reported human trafficking cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Experts say the number of major interstates that cross through the state, the large agricultural population, and the state’s strategic location along the East Coast contribute to the issue.

sex trafficking, human trafficking
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A group of attorneys is urging the Durham city council to create a task force to fight child sex trafficking.

Durham-Orange Women Attorneys—or DOWA—says county and community agencies need to coordinate their efforts to address child sex trafficking.

An image of a youth radio reporter and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Kamaya Truitt-Martin / WUNC

It’s not every day you get to see Loretta Lynch, the first black woman to be U.S. Attorney General. WUNC Youth Radio’s Kamaya Truitt-Martin and Taylor Walker almost didn’t get that chance.