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Posted: 2/21/2006 7:56:14 PM EDT
Hmmmm..........no mention of illegals in this "story" about underage sex slaves that come from "the suburbs and middle class America"

High “human trafficking” rate in Florida
2/21/2006
www.fox30online.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=1FC31A35-712C-4D52-852E-F8B7CAD6DEAE
Young women and children raped, tortured and sold for sex – its modern day slavery and it's happening here in Jacksonville.

In fact, the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights says Florida has one of the highest rates of "human trafficking" in the country. Barred windows and locked doors are the only visible signs of America's modern day slave trade.

“Anna” is one of the lucky ones, one of the thousands of victims of human trafficking to escape her captors in Atlanta.

"I couldn't keep taking all of the beatings for forever,” she says. “They were going to have to kill me sooner or later."

Traffickers use torture, threats and brainwashing to sell women, men and children into domestic servitude, for sweat shop labor and for sex.

"This is one of the most devastating crimes where people are trafficking in human misery,” says Dr. Carol Morgan with the Law Enforcement Academy.

And this human trafficking is happening right here in Jacksonville. The FBI says it has a civil liberties squad investigating cases like Anna's right now.

Special Agent Jeffrey Wescott says where traffickers get their victims may surprise you.

“These are kids from the suburbs and middle class America,” he says. “Sometimes it's a kid with low self esteem, who may be enticed by someone who wants to befriend her."

Anna was just 12 when she was locked up, beaten and sold for sex. She says it was hard to break free, because she was always constantly watched and forever on the move.

While Special Agent Wescott's team cracks down on traffickers of local victims, US Immigration and Customs enforcement hunts down those who smuggle them in from outside the US.

White House statistics show more than 14,500 victims are recruited, transported and sold in the US every year. 80 percent of them are female, and 70 of those women are for sex.

One official says it is probably one of the fastest growing international organizational crimes in the world. But it’s a crime many lawmakers aren't keeping up with. In Georgia, there are no state human trafficking laws and no protection for its victims.

In Florida, legislators made human trafficking illegal in 2004, and they’re not done yet. There are two measures on the agenda in the upcoming legislative session that will help police and judges identify and crack down on the problem.
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