Human trafficking takes many forms. According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services fact sheet, it can include not only sex for money involving coercion or fraud but also any kind of involuntary servitude. And while most folks associate trafficking with children, two-thirds of the more than 200 North Carolina cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline last year were adults. The Second Annual Anti-Trafficking Summit, slated for Sept. 15-19, is co-sponsored by Mars Hill University and Life 107 Ministries. This year’s summit will be online-only due to COVID-19.
During January, which is Human Trafficking Awareness month, newly launched local organization Project FIGHT is hosting several events aimed at raising awareness and funds to combat trafficking in Western North Carolina. Rock band Armadilla will headline one such benefit concert at The Mothlight on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Human trafficking often occurs in wealthy or relatively wealthy areas where there’s demand, access to major highways and an airport, says Mamie Adams. Asheville fits the bill, and a new Our VOICE project, coordinated by Adams, aims to tackle the problem.