Help us protect Louisiana's children. Report Child Abuse & Neglect: 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437) toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A 2017 report on human trafficking, trafficking of children for sexual purposes and commercial sexual exploitation showed a 25 percent increase in victims over the past year, with 447 victims reported for the 2016 calendar year, compared to 357 during the previous year.Almost half (201) of the victims (or 45 percent) were children, and 20 of these (4 percent) were age 12 and under.
DCFS released its first report on human trafficking in 2015 in response to state legislation. It included data for the 2014 calendar year. All three reports released since 2015 are available here.
"This report is undeniable evidence human trafficking exists, and it's a significant threat to our children and young people. In fact, with these reports, we believe we're just scratching the surface," said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters.
Only 17 of 59 Louisiana Human Trafficking providers supplied data for the report, a result DCFS staff hope to increase in the future.
"By increasing coordination between law enforcement, service providers and others, we can work together in every part of the state to fight human trafficking, identify victims and get them the resources they need," Walters said.
Other findings from the report:
- Caddo and Orleans Parishes were the two most frequently identified parishes for trafficking and parish of origin.
- Data for East Baton Rouge Parish was impacted in the 2017 submission, because the major provider, HP-Serve, lost the majority of its records in August flooding.
- 90% of victims were female; 8% were male and 2% were transgender
- The age range of sexual trafficking victims was 2-55.
Earlier this year, DCFS implemented a prevention curriculum that addresses human trafficking and multiple risk factors for youth in foster care. Next week, the department will join state, legislative and law enforcement officials for a ribbon cutting of the Metanoia residential facility for adolescent trafficking victims.
"This year's human trafficking report reveals the extent to which some people will go to victimize children and young adults. Metanoia will be a refuge. I'm honored to have played a part in bringing it to light," said Sen. Ronnie Johns of Lake Charles, who sponsored several pieces of anti-trafficking legislation, including a measure establishing Metanoia.