Economy

Reynolds launches human trafficking initiative

Reynolds launches human trafficking initiativeā€

Iowa's Governor announced a new initiative to try to stop sex trafficking in hotels and motels.

The governor's office hopes this leads authorities to break up more human trafficking rings.

Three trainers from Omaha came to Des Moines September 13 for the first training session.

George Belitsos of the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery says commercial sexual exploitation is now a bigger business than the drug trade.

". That's why I'm grateful to see this private sector partnership between our state and Nebraska", she added.

The program is voluntary, but human trafficking advocates say taking part is a no-brainer.

Johnston's ordinance requires background information and licenses for massage businesses.

"We estimate at least 50%, if not much more, of the trafficking that takes place in our region takes place in hotels and motels", said human trafficking consultant Mike Ferjak. "They were living in the basement, and they were victims of sex trafficking".

"It's a harsh reality that dozens of victims are trafficked in Iowa hotels and motels every single day, and having more eyes and ears in every single corner of our state and every community can help", Reynolds said. ". Today human trafficking is the fastest-growth crime in the world and right now it stands as the third highest-grossing profit".



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