sex trafficking

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.