GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WGFL) -- The Alachua County Coalition Against Human Trafficking gathered the community Friday to raise awareness and fight to end the modern day slavery.
They say around 20 million men, women and children are victims of human trafficking globally.
Experts say hundreds of women and children are bound by sex trafficking here in Gainesville.
“The only way to stop it is if the community comes together to fight this terrible thing. This modern day slavery,” said Richard Tovar, ACCAHT president.
During the meeting, individuals who have made a difference over the last year attacking this industry through education, investigations and survivor services were recognized.
“Different people in the community whether they are law enforcement, citizen, whether it is legislators, judges were here, we need to work together and collaborate on this issue,” said Sen Keith Perry. “It is a huge issue. It’s one that is kind of under the radar but it’s there.”
For the next coming year, the organization says it is going to really target not only the traffickers responsible, but the people who are buying these women and children for sex.