Thursday, December 22, 2011
In Tallahassee, police investigators learned new ways to handle cases of human trafficking. It's a serious problem in Florida. The state is ranked third in the nation in the number of human trafficking cases. Terry Coonan of the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights says many young women, including runaway U.S. citizens and immigrants, are forced into prostitution. "Once they arrive are told, 'You owe a smuggling debt of $5,000 or $20,000 or $40,000 and until you pay that off in forced prostitution, we own you.' Often the "we" is an organized crime group, Russian, Asian, Latin American," Coonan said. Coonan says Florida's economy is riddled with human trafficking. … But it's not always sex trafficking. The girls are also exploited in labor trafficking for job sectors that rely on cheap labor.