With the holiday season in full swing it is important for us to be mindful of our surroundings and aware of signs related to human trafficking. A crime that has been reported in all 50 states and generates roughly $150 billion dollars annually, human trafficking is an issue we must continue to fight and raise awareness about as it can happen to anyone. Individuals can be trafficked regardless of class, education, gender or age when forcefully coerced or lured by false promises. For further information on this global issue, or to report a potential case, please call the human trafficking hotline at 888-373-7888, or text INFO or HELP to "BeFree" (233733). A full list of possible trafficking signs can be found at www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/recognizing-the-signs

This month, domestically, there were 88 individuals arrested, suspected, or charged with human trafficking activities, as well as 16 victims rescued, including one child under the age of 18. There were two new laws passed and there were 37 community initiatives. Internationally, there were 29 individuals arrested, suspected, or charged with human trafficking activity, as well as 30 victims rescued. There were no new laws passed and there were 11 community initiatives.

 This past week, to raise awareness on campus, UNICEF, UCF Athletics, the DeVos Sport Business Management Program and the National Consortium for Academics in Sport hosted a powerful Shut-Out Trafficking week here at UCF. The trafficking awareness events that took place over the past week brought this issue to the forefront for thousands of UCF students, influencing a number to become involved in combatting modern-day slavery. Earlier this month there was a Shut-Out Trafficking week  at Florida International University in Miami. 

To learn more, like the Shut-Out Trafficking Facebook page and follow End Trafficking on Twitter.

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