Mary Eschmann and Zian Mahfuz– Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- The LRHS United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) club is raising awareness of human trafficking.

The club is partnering with the Sarasota anti-sex trafficking organization, Selah Freedom. The organization will hold a sex trafficking seminar to raise awareness on the topic.

The event will be led by speaker Chloe Vega. Vega will educate others to recognize and confront sex trafficking.

The seminar is scheduled after school Tuesday, Feb. 13 in room 564.  The seminar is open to all LRHS students and staff members.

“It’s an issue that that should be discussed more and it’s not as well-known as it should be. It’s a huge issue that should be helped. Sex trafficking is a crime and violation of our human rights,” said UNICEF secretary Kira Littlejohn, sophomore.

“I think it’s a good that an issue that has been overshadowed in the past and it’s great that it is being discussed in our community,” stated sophomore Christopher Georgas.

Sex traffickers most often target runaway and homeless youth, and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, or social discrimination. They use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to force people into engaging in commercial sex acts against without consent.

Since 2007 there have been 22,191 reports of sex trafficking cases, and one in six runaway children are likely to be a human trafficking victim.

There is an estimated 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally.

If you suspect human trafficking, please call the national human trafficking resource center at 1(888)-373-7888.

Stay updated on important LRHS news and share what you like by following our Twitter @LRHSNews1, Instagram @mustangs_ahead, and Soundcloud @Mustangs Ahead Podcasts.