Gov. Pete Ricketts has proclaimed January Human Trafficking Awareness Month, stating Nebraska must use a community approach to fight sex and slave trafficking.
Ricketts notes during the signing ceremony that while the legislature has passed several bills to address the problem, it will take more than laws to end this form of modern slavery.
“This is something that every Nebraskan needs to be aware of and be looking for and making sure that we’re taking whatever steps we need to within our community to be able to identify those people who are involved in sex trafficking, go after the perpetrators and try and recuse the victims,” Ricketts tells those gathered in his Capitol office.
Ricketts says the effort to fight the problem begins with an awareness that human trafficking is a problem in Nebraska.
First Lady Susanne Shore says the victims of sex and slave trafficking are ours to care for.
“These are children, teens, and adults that are living a life of slavery, who are coerced into submission through physical and mental abuse,” Shore says.
Shore says all Nebraskans must join the effort to combat human trafficking.
Attorney General Doug Peterson says investigations and prosecutions undertaken last year proved successful.
“We’re learning more and more in the process,” according to Peterson. “Unfortunately, it’s getting more and more difficult with those who go onto the dark web to traffic their business. We have some real challenges of where to find these people. Unfortunately, also, the crime itself is not going away. We live in a culture where, unfortunately, people will use other people in such a way that’s deplorable.”