A look at human trafficking in Idaho

She says we all must do our part to educate ourselves on the signs
A look at human trafficking
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 4:37 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked nationwide. Idaho is not exempt from the issue.

“We do currently have victims under Voices that are under human trafficking,” said Noemi Juarez with Voices Against Violence. “Unfortunately it is, we do want to say we live in a safe community, but unfortunately we are one of the biggest hot spots for human trafficking. And that’s because we have so many bordering states, so many highways, freeways.”

The three types of human trafficking include sex trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage, where people work to pay off debt.

KMVT talked to Noemi Juarez with Voices against Violence.

She says human trafficking is complex, and that some victims are brainwashed into believing what has happened to them is good.

“Many times human traffickers will groom their victims into these lifestyles,” Juarez said. “It starts off as this great relationship or this great idea or fantasy of what this life could be.”

Juarez says the abusers often prey on people’s vulnerabilities.

“Runaway youth are at higher risk. Also, individuals who don’t have any family members, or who are isolated from friends and family, folks with mental health issues.”

She says we all must do our part to educate ourselves on the signs, and be aware of what is going on in our own backyard.

“If they don’t ever have I.D. or personal identification on them, that might be a sign because often times their personal items get taken from them, or they might be traveling with false identification. Also, if they don’t know where their work or their home address is, or they don’t want to disclose those things.”

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1 (888) 373-7888.

Voices Against Violence has a 24 hour crisis line at (208) 733-0100 or through text: (408) 675-2023.

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