One thing that people don’t quite understand about the age we live in is that there are some really diabolical people out there.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), American law enforcement agencies have saved more than 200 victims of human trafficking nationwide, including 84 children who were trafficked for sex.
A two-week nationwide operation called “Operation Cross Country” in August resulted in the recovery of 141 adult victims of human trafficking, 84 juvenile victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking in children, and the identification of 37 missing minors. 85 people were charged with human trafficking and child sexual exploitation as a result of nearly 400 sting operations, authorities said.
The youngest victim found during this operation was 11 years old but the typical age of victims in operations of a similar sort is around 15.
“Human trafficking is among the most heinous crimes the FBI encounters,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “Unfortunately, such crimes—against both adults and children—are far more common than most people realize.”
“Operation Cross Country” was the most recent of a dozen FBI-led initiatives to rescue victims of human trafficking and look into the perpetrators’ identities and illegal enterprises.
Federal authorities apprehended 85 persons for offenses including child sexual exploitation and human trafficking during Operation Cross Country, which encompassed 391 actions over the period of two weeks. The operation’s teams work with 200 local, state, and federal partners and include FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, victim specialists, and child and adolescent forensic interviewers.
Victim advocates serve as a link for those who have lost faith in the system by assisting survivors in developing productive connections with law enforcement.
Additionally, experts assist survivors in obtaining services according to their particular needs, such as crisis intervention and minimal needs for survival.
A partner in the operation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children asserted that the success of the children’s rescue verifies what it sees every day.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which participated in the investigation, said in a statement that “children are being purchased and sold for sex in communities across the country by traffickers, gangs, and even family members,”
“We’re proud to support the FBI’s efforts to prioritise the safety of children. This national operation highlights the need for all child-serving professionals to continue to focus on the wellbeing of children and youth to prevent them from being targeted in the first place.”
Runaways make up the large majority of missing and minor cases reported to the nonprofit organization each year, in data gathered by the NCMEC. The organization collaborated with families, parents, and law enforcement organizations on 27,733 incidents of missing children in 2021 alone.
The NCMEC also discovered that 19% of the kids who fled from social services most likely ended up as victims of trafficking.
Watch it here: Youtube/FBI