AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Organizations around the Panhandle are working to stop human trafficking, which is a growing problem across the United States and here in the Panhandle.
One-Amarillo and the A21 campaign are working to educate parents, students and residents about the warning signs of human trafficking. Statistics show Texas ranks number 2 in the nation for the amount of calls placed to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and the Panhandle is not exempt from trafficking rings and online solicitation of our children.
"This is happening here in the Panhandle and in our schools," said One-Amarillo founder Patrick Bernson. "We need to educate our local administers and teachers about what to look for and the warning signs that someone is being trafficked."
Organizations in Amarillo are working as one to build awareness in our community to help combat trafficking in our area and you can join the fight.
Unite as One: Domestic Human Trafficking Conference will take place in Amarillo on Oct. 22. The conference will host speakers from across the country working on the front lines of combating trafficking around the globe, in order to bring quality education and training to the Texas Panhandle. Organizations traveling to present include International Justice Mission, The A21 Campaign, Traffick911, Department of Homeland Security, and the Sugar Land Police Department.
One-Amarillo is an organization working to eradicate trafficking in the Amarillo area. They have partnered with Amarillo College to bring this educational opportunity to area professionals and anyone interested in attending. The conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at 4:00 p.m.
"Human trafficking is the second fastest growing problem behind drug trafficking," said Bernson. "We need to come together as a community and work to stop this from happening here."
For more details, or to register for the conference, visit www.uniteasone.eventbrite.com.
A21 is another organization working to eradicate trafficking in the Panhandle. The goals of the A21 campaign are prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership working in local communities to combat human trafficking. One of the ways they raise money and awareness to combat trafficking is through local fundraisers and the annual Walk for Freedom in Amarillo each year.
The last fundraiser before the walk is Monday, Oct. 3rd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Chick-Fil-A on S. Georgia St. If you mention that you are eating there for the A21 campaign a percentage of profits go to ending human trafficking in our area.
The Walk for Freedom is later this month on Oct. 17th here in Amarillo. Walk For Freedom Amarillo is an awareness event to shed light on the injustice of human trafficking. This free event is an opportunity for individuals to raise awareness of the reality of modern-day slavery within our own community.
"The walk is silent," said A21 Campaign Member Debbie Ford. "It is a international effort to raise awareness and funds to prevent this from happening in our communities."
The walk starts at 9 a.m. at the Loft Church in the Coronado Shopping Center at 34th & Georgia. Registration is required for the event and you can register at a21.org/Amarillo.