sex trafficking

The Center for Combating Human Trafficking / Wichita State University

The Center for Combating Human Trafficking at Wichita State University will host an event Thursday focusing on the criminalization of individuals who have survived sex trafficking.

The center’s “Love Not Lockup” event will feature a showing of the documentary "Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story" by Dan Birman. Cyntoia Brown was arrested for the 2004 murder of a 43-year-old man. Brown, who was 16 at the time, was forced into prostitution and the man had solicited her for sex. She was given a life sentence.

Center for Combating Human Trafficking

Two local events are scheduled in January to mark National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

The Wichita Women in Health Professions will host a panel discussion by representatives of local agencies working to prevent trafficking. The event is scheduled for Jan. 23 at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. It will begin at 5:30 p.m.

fbi.gov

Six children were recovered, and one suspect was arrested in Kansas during a nationwide sex trafficking sting that took place earlier this month.

Wade Morgen / flick Creative Commons

A task force that works to prevent crimes against children is seeing an increase in the number of sex trafficking cases in Kansas at this halfway point of 2017 compared to last year.

The Kansas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigates all exploitation, missing, human trafficking as well as physical and sexual abuse cases involving child victims.

Richard Powell of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office says so far this year, they’ve identified 43 victims and 29 suspects in domestic minor sex trafficking.

IRA GELB, FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Kansas has been given a grade of "B" for legislative laws regarding the sex trafficking of minors. The grade has risen over the past several years.

In 2011, Kansas had a score of "F" from Shared Hope, an international victim advocacy group. The group monitors all 50 states on laws that help to prevent child sex trafficking and punish offenders.

Kansas Public Radio

Kansas law enforcement officials have partnered with the trucking industry to better train truck drivers to identify and report suspected human trafficking.

Truckers can now call a national hotline to report evidence of human trafficking. That information will then be relayed to local authorities. 

“We’re making the reporting more timely, hopefully, so drivers as they’re seeing crimes happening can report it, giving law enforcement a better response time,” says Esther Goetsch of the group Truckers Against Trafficking.

IRA GELB, FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Sex trafficking is big business and it's become a big problem in Kansas. Every day, women and children are held captive -- usually through coercion -- and forced into prostitution. It happens at truck stops, motels and dozens of other places.

Federal prosecutors  have charged three people in a sex trafficking scheme operating at nine Asian massage parlors in Wichita; the charges allege they recruited women from outside Kansas and coerced them to engage in prostitution.

Wichita continues to be a city where minors are lured into sex-trafficking; runaway and homeless youth are picked up then taken across state lines, often into Texas or Missouri.

This happens, in part, because Wichita and Sedgwick county are situated at the crossroads of America. There is easy access to major highways that can quickly take people across state lines. This location makes south-central Kansas a prime spot for domestic minor sex-trafficking, known as DMST, which is the buying and selling of children and youth for sexual purposes.