The city of Jacksonville is taking a stand against one of the world’s fastest growing crimes.
Leaders with True Justice International, local law enforcement, and a number of other agencies gathered Tuesday afternoon as Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips signed a proclamation.
The proclamation states January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month in Jacksonville.
“I’m glad that this is being brought to the forefront for awareness,” said Phillips. “I think it’s something that we really need to focus on.”
The criminal industry is a huge problem nationwide and in North Carolina as well. The state is ranked number 8 in the country in reported cases of human trafficking.
True Justice International, the non-profit for sex trafficking victims, said this proclamation is a sign of freedom.
The non-profit states it is a step to bring awareness to the issue and help combat human trafficking cases in eastern North Carolina.
“They can know this is a safe place. That they can come here and know there are people who are working on their behalf,” said Traci Klein, executive director of True Justice International.
The non-profit is working to open a center for victims in Jacksonville to provide services in the area.