DCFS: 25 percent increase in human trafficking victims in Louisiana
A 2017 report on human trafficking indicates a 25 percent increase in the number of victims in Louisiana over the past year.
The report, released by the Department of Children and Family Services, shows that almost half of the victims were children and 20 of those were 12 years old or younger.
"This report is undeniable evidence human trafficking exists, and it's a significant threat to our children and young people. In fact, with these reports, we believe we're just scratching the surface," DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters, said.
DCFS released its first report on human trafficking in 2015.
Of the 59 Louisiana Trafficking providers, 17 of them supplied data for the report. The department says that it hopes to increase the number of providers.
Some of the findings in the report include:
- Caddo and Orleans Parishes were the two most frequently identified parishes for trafficking and parish of origin.
- Data for East Baton Rouge Parish was impacted in the 2017 submission, because the major provider, HP-Serve, lost the majority of its records in August flooding.
- 90% of victims were female; 8% were male and 2% were transgender
- The age range of sexual trafficking victims was 2-55.
The department has partnered with Louisiana State Police, service providers and the courts to develop an improved response to human trafficking. DCFS has also implemented efforts that addresses human trafficking and risk factors for children in foster care. Next week, the department will join state, legislative and law enforcement officials for a ribbon cutting of the Metanoia residential facility for adolescent trafficking victims.