FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Organizations across the state are working to fight against human trafficking. One of those being the NC Stop Human Trafficking, a non-profit which happens to have outreach here in Eastern North Carolina.
Representatives with the non-profit say, when it comes to the fight against human trafficking, it’s not only up to community members but making sure professionals are in the loop as well when it comes to education on the cause.
“Human trafficking is compelling somebody to work or perform a commercial sex act using force, fraud, or coercion,” said Melinda Sampson, the Community Outreach Coordinator for “NC Stop Human Trafficking.”
Whether it is minors, adults, or others who may be affected, the group says they are ready to help.
“Now if a person under the age of 18 is performing a commercial sex act, they are automatically a victim of human trafficking. Force, fraud, or coercion need not be proven,” said Sampson.
Sampson says education is so important for both professionals and community members because it helps show what trafficking can really look like.
“When law enforcement can understand what sex trafficking look likes and what victimization looks like, then they’re better able to not penalize the victim but rather look for the traffickers.”
She notes, trafficking can also be seen in mediums like the internet. The organization is working to back the legislation, like the Earn Act.
“That Earn It Act is an act to hold tech companies accountable. When commercial sexual exploitation of children is uploaded online,” said Sampson.
Sampson also explains that trafficking can be seen in the labor force as well. She says with agriculture being a major industry in the Carolinas, it can be seen there amongst other realms.
“It’s not just agriculture we’re also looking at traveling sales crews and elicit massage businesses, that’s a real problem here in the state and that’s labor trafficking and sex trafficking all at one time.”
Overall the group will continue to fight for those who may feel voiceless.
“Our vision is obviously a state free of human trafficking and we do that by working to create communities actively involved in abolishing human trafficking,” said Sampson.
The organization is hosting a Human Trafficking 101 session at the La Grange library on July 27th at 6 PM and in Snow Hill at the Greene County Library on July 28th at 6 as well.