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Cocoa Hosts Symposium On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Photo: FBI.gov

Law enforcement, prosecutors, advocacy groups for children and others that combat human trafficking will converge upon Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa Monday for a symposium. It’s to coincide with National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Congressman Bill Posey is sponsoring the event. Central Florida is a human trafficking hot spot in part because of the tourism industry.

Claire Ellis, with the Zonta Club of Melbourne; a women’s advocacy group, said they will educate those in the hotel industry about the signs of human trafficking.

“A lot of times the victim does not speak, only the trafficker, many of them have literal brandings and tattoos with the trafficker’s name or other things ‘daddy, money’ those kinds of things,” said Ellis.

Ellis said labor trafficking is also a problem in Brevard. She points to a 2013 case where authorities rescued 24 children who were forced to sell items door–to-door in Palm Bay.

Florida ranks third in the number of calls to the national human trafficking hotline.

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About Crystal Chavez

Crystal Chavez