New campaign in NYS to raise awareness for human trafficking

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference against a backdrop of medical supplies at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a temporary hospital in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in New York. Cuomo sounded his most dire warning yet about the coronavirus pandemic, saying the infection rate in New York is accelerating and the state could be as close as two weeks away from a crisis that projects 40,000 people in intensive care. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Starting this month, the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking will begin a campaign in New York State to bring awareness to the issue.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new social media campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking and help dispel common misconceptions about the crime and its victims. The task force will share a series of graphics aimed to correct misconceptions and inform on how to report cases.

The Task Force has designed seven unique graphics to share on social media. The graphics will be shared on the social media pages of the Task Force’s member agencies along with the hashtag, #TruthAboutTrafficking.

“There is a deeply troubling and prevailing misconception that human trafficking only happens in the shadows and in faraway nations, when in reality it’s a heinous crime that often happens in plain sight and in our own communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “By raising awareness and dispelling the myths surrounding it, more New Yorkers will be able to recognize the signs of human trafficking and report it, to help put an end to this insidious violation of human rights.”

According to the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and the Division of Criminal Justice Services, 177 trafficking referrals were received between January and June, a 70-percent increase over the same period in 2019.

Both received more referrals during March and June of 2020 than during the same four-month period in any previous year.

From 2007 through 2019, there have been 1,541 confirmed victims. This includes 1,155 victims of sex trafficking, 300 victims of labor trafficking and 86 victims of both. There were 288 victims of human trafficking confirmed in 2019 alone.

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