The state of Colorado is launching a multiyear human trafficking awareness campaign to teach the public about the different forms of human trafficking and how to address it, officials announced Monday.
The campaign, through the Colorado Human Trafficking Council, aspires to create a statewide culture that doesn’t tolerate human trafficking.
“Until Colorado residents become aware of all aspects of human trafficking, this human injustice will continue,” said Maria Trujillo with the council.
“We hope this campaign will highlight the true nature of human trafficking, so that community members realize that this crime is happening in our communities.”
Human trafficking is a crime involving the severe exploitation of another person through force, fraud or coercion for some type of labor, including commercial sex.
This takes many forms, including forced work without pay.
Official said human trafficking cases are difficult to quantify in Colorado and drastically under reported.
Since the passage of Colorado’s new human trafficking statutes in 2014, 199 cases were filed using one of the human trafficking statutes with the majority filed in the Denver metro area.
“Colorado residents are aware of human trafficking, but they do not necessarily believe it is affecting their community or family,” said Christian Gardner Wood with the council.
“With increased knowledge about how it occurs and what it looks like, the public can play a more active role in combatting human trafficking.”
The campaign includes the launch of ThisisHumanTrafficking.com, which publishes warning signs of human trafficking, resources for victims and anecdotes from survivors of human trafficking.
The campaign will also publish commercials and advertisements on local television, radio, digital channels and billboards.
The campaign’s first news conference will be held via Zoom Tuesday.
Anyone who suspects human trafficking is happening to them or someone they know is asked to call 866-455-5075 or text 720-999-9724 for anonymous help.