Children forced into the underground world of prostitution. It happens more than you might imagine.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter reports on an FBI sting that’s taken children out of the sex trade in the New Orleans area.
Child sex trafficking continues to be a problem, across the country and in New Orleans.
“A lot of people don’t realize that they are seeing human trafficking when they see it, it’s one of those things that can be hidden in plain sight,” said
Kara Van de Carr with Eden House.
Local, state, and federal agents made several arrests in Louisiana this past weekend.
In New Orleans four children were recovered, one pimp and 17 prostitutes were arrested.
In Baton Rouge, 2 children were recovered, one pimp and 21 prostitutes were arrested.
Special agent Michael J. Anderson says the New Orleans area is a hub for human trafficking, in part, because of its location.
“It is an area where you’ve got a couple of main interstates that are going cross country, which also could make it right for juvenile prostitutes and adult prostitutes for that matter,” Michael J. Anderson said.
Kara Van de Carr is founder of Eden house; an organization that works to rehabilitate women who’ve survived sexual exploitation.
She explains the laissez faire culture of New Orleans, its national sporting events, and vast tourism allow trafficking to go unnoticed.
“Large amounts of people coming in for tourism, and for conventions; so it makes it easy to get people in and out of the city,” Van de Carr explained. “It also makes it so there are a large number of people who are transient who may do something in New Orleans that they wouldn’t have done in their own city.”
Thereby creating a customer base.
This weekend’s operation was conducted in 76 cities across the country.
New Orleans’ Division of the FBI ranks fifth on the list for recovered juveniles.
Van de Carr says the first steps to ending the cycle of victimization are education and awareness.
“And then once we start to get awareness of what’s actually going on that we have human trafficking in the United States just like other countries, I think people will start to get involved in the fight of this type of exploitation.”
If you would like to join the fight, and help the work of the Eden House, visit the website, www.edenhousenola.org