LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Human trafficking may seem like a big city issue — one that’s more likely seen in blockbusters than in your hometown. If it was happening here, you would know about it, right? Wrong.
Traffickers and their victims exist throughout the Louisville metropolitan area. They could be your neighborhoods, friends or even relatives — and the stories depicted in movies and shows is rarely their reality.
“I think people have their own idea of what human trafficking is, but…I don’t think people truly understand the depth of what human trafficking is and how pervasive it is in the community,” said Regina Vargo-Carirro, a People Against Trafficking Humans (PATH) board member.
Human trafficking, the buying and selling of humans for labor, sex or both, is happening here.
“More people are sold than gun sales themselves,” one LMPD Special Victims Unit detective said. “Let that sink in for a minute. A human being, a life, is sold. And it has surpassed gun sales.”
The detective, who also works undercover for the FBI’s Human Trafficking Task Force said he has identified doctors, lawyers, teacher and even parents dropping kids off for practice as traffickers.
“You just don’t realize…that stuff [is] right under your nose,” the detective said. “Until I came to this unit, and you see how dark that side of the world is…and it’s there.”
Since 2007, there have been 373 cases of human trafficking reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline in state of Kentucky. Around 869 victims have been reported in those cases.Kentucky