FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2017
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Global human trafficking market is a $150 billion-a-year industry
Albuquerque, NM – In accordance with National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced efforts to spread awareness of human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery. The Office of the Attorney General will host the 2017 New Mexico Human Trafficking Conference this month for law enforcement, first responders, prosecutors, victim advocates, medical staff, service providers and social workers. The conference will take place from 8am to 5pm on Tuesday, January 31st at the Albuquerque Marriott. In 2016, the Office of the Attorney General Human Trafficking Unit conducted 8 search warrants, 6 arrest warrants, 4 labor trafficking cases, 33 sex trafficking cases, 31 victim interviews, 8 operations, and 23 trainings and presentations.
“New Mexico is not immune to the atrocity of human trafficking,” said Attorney General Balderas. “Our Human Trafficking Unit will continue to work tirelessly to protect New Mexico’s most vulnerable from falling victim to this horrific crime.” The Office of the Attorney General Human Trafficking Unit has taken the lead role in establishing a collaborative partnership with key stakeholders to investigate human trafficking cases, provide services to victims, increase awareness, and prosecute human trafficking cases. These stakeholders include Life Link and other key service providers, as well as criminal justice partners, and various community resources. The unit also provides investigative support and training to all New Mexico law enforcement agencies, promotes awareness through training and media campaigns, and participates in anti-human trafficking work groups. Additionally, the unit has a specially designated assistant attorney general devoted specifically to prosecuting human trafficking cases.
Human trafficking is a form of slavery that encompasses both commercial sex trafficking and labor trafficking. According to the International Labor Organization, there are more than 20 million victims of human trafficking worldwide and the global human trafficking market is a $150 billion-a-year industry. Traffickers prey upon our most vulnerable populations, including those who have been victims of physical and sexual abuse, individuals with physical or mental disabilities, and individuals who suffer from substance abuse.
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