News Secretary of State and USM Host Human Trafficking Summit

Unknown to many, Mississippi is a human trafficking hotspot because of major highways like I-10 that run through it and provide various ports to the public.

When Secretary of State Michael Watson heard the news, he set out to raise awareness and save lives. Watson partners with USM to create the Mississippi Business Anti-Trafficking Summit.

The summit educates people about the tactics used by perpetrators and how to spot human trafficking incidents.

Other organizations, such as the Center for Violence Prevention and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, set up booths and provided resources for attendees. “When I was working in the legislature, some people came up to me and said, ‘Look, we want to talk to you about human trafficking,’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s fine, but it’s really in L.A. , it’s in Vegas, it’s in New York, it’s not really in Mississippi. But they gave me an example that happened in Lincoln County, Mississippi, where a grandfather trafficked his granddaughter for drug money. And , so, when I heard the news, it was in Mississippi, which blew my mind. As a father of three daughters, I couldn’t just sit back and watch. I had to get busy and deal with human trafficking for the state of Mississippi. So, it went from The legislature began, and now it’s the office of the secretary of state.”

If you are or are currently experiencing human trafficking, please call the Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or text “Toll Free.”

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