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Advocates call for human trafficking awareness in Arkansas

According to the United Nations, there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in human history. It’s called human trafficking and it's happening here in Arkansas.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - According to the United Nations, there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in human history. It’s called human trafficking and it's happening here in Arkansas.

When you drive down Interstate 40 you may think about traffic but probably not about human trafficking.

It’s modern day slavery and Louise Allison spent two years in it.

"We were drugged frequently without our knowledge,” Allison says. “We were put in cars and taken places. We were often transferred from one group of men to another group."

Allison joined by legislators, attorney general Dustin McDaniel and non-profit volunteers as part of human trafficking awareness day.

The message, slavery is here. Police and victim advocates say I-40 is the main corridor for trafficking through Arkansas.

And those who know human trafficking say the dangers extend beyond just the interstate to actual truck stops themselves. Allison says that includes young girls being dumped at truck stops for sex.

"I saw that with my own eyes and it was a very…it was tough,” Allison says. “It was tough to see."

State representative David Meeks (R-Conway) says Arkansas is one of nine states not doing enough.

"If we do nothing then we are subjecting a lot of daughters and sisters to a life of slavery,” Meeks says. “And that's something we can't stand and I don't think the people of Arkansas are going to tolerate."

The goal now Meeks says is to find a way to strengthen the law and eliminate Arkansas' underground world of human trafficking.

Allison started Partners Against Trafficking Humans or PATH in Little Rock less than a year ago.

According to the U.N, there is an estimated 27-million people worldwide living in slavery today. Advocates say the exact number in Arkansas is not known.

In addition to PATH, Rush Hour Traffic is another group in Arkansas formed to combat human trafficking.
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