Tennessee Governor Bill Lee proclaimed last week, July 28 – August 3, as Human Trafficking Awareness Week in Tennessee.
Human trafficking, also known as modern day slavery, is quickly becoming a major public health concern. Today, an estimated 40.3 million people are being trafficked worldwide, including an estimated 94 children each month here in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Health urges all Tennesseans to learn about risk factors, red flags and resources for human trafficking to be part of the solution, and possibly help save a life.
“The trauma experienced by those who are trafficked can have life-long effects on their mental, physical, psychological and social health, which makes it a challenge for public health in our state,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “It is important that we continue our work with our partners to prevent human trafficking and educate Tennesseans on how to identify the signals for this crime and support those who have been impacted by it.”
The Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and stakeholders across the state partnered with the Red Sand Project during Human Trafficking Awareness Week.
The Red Sand Project is a participatory art installment designed to shed light on human trafficking.
Participants gathered at sites around the state and poured red sand in sidewalk seams to draw attention to the human trafficking victims who fall through the cracks every day.
For suspected cases of human trafficking, contact the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-558-6484 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.