Bastrop churches hold community conference on human trafficking

BASTROP, La. (KNOE) - Bastrop community organizers, clergy and law enforcement met Thursday night for a community conference on human trafficking, an issue that they say has become too common.

Speakers focused on internet safety, social media, false reports and signs of prostitution. Source: (KNOE)

The event “Safely Home for the Holidays” was organized by St. Matthews No. 1 Missionary Baptist Church and St. John Missionary Baptist Church.

The public forum including law enforcement and assistance groups informed people across the city and other parts of Northeast Louisiana about the signs of human trafficking and how to protect themselves.

Speakers focused on internet safety, social media, false reports and signs of prostitution.

Wendy Johnson, the director of Purchase NELA and Freedom 13 Ministries says it starts with awareness and attention to the younger generation.

“Just take note of when your children are on their phone, if they're playing games, equipping your children with the truth, with hard things, talk about the things they tend to hide that they don't want to talk about,” Johnson said.

According to a 2018 report from humantraffickinghotline.org there were 149 reported cases of human trafficking in the state last year.

To report a case of human trafficking, call 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733.