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Indiana report finds human trafficking more widespread in the state

Of the 157 human trafficking cases reported in Indiana in 2019, 40 of those involved minors.
A woman and child walk during a march against human trafficking and slavery, on Paseo de la Reforma boulevard in Mexico City, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

INDIANAPOLIS — A new report from the Office of the Attorney General and Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking shows human trafficking in the state could be more widespread than data shows.

In 2019, 157 Indiana human trafficking cases were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline – a 19 percent increase from 2018. Of those 157 cases, 40 of those involved minors.

Those numbers are only the cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Ascent 121, an Indiana agency that specializes in working with survivors of sex trafficking, provided services for 117 minors in Indiana in 2019. 

Indiana does not have a centralized reporting mechanism for human trafficking.

“It is reasonable to suspect that human trafficking in Indiana is a much more widespread problem than available data demonstrates,” said Attorney General Curtis Hill. “While our partners in combatting this scourge have made noticeable progress in serving trafficking victims and holding traffickers accountable, there is clearly more we can do.”

Since 2016, Indiana's lawmakers have passed five pieces of anti-trafficking legislation.

“The 2020 Indiana State Report on Human Trafficking shows good progress made by hundreds of partners across the state in addressing human trafficking. The priority now is to continue the momentum,” said Tracey Horth Krueger, Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking. “We must ensure that survivors have access to services while we increase our knowledge about the root causes of trafficking so we can end it.”

Click here to read the full report.

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