A human trafficking report from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services shows a 77% increase in juvenile human trafficking victims identified over the past year.
In the report there were also three times as many victims 12 years old and younger compared to 2016.
Caddo, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany are the parishes most frequently identified as the trafficking locations for both adult and juvenile victims.
74 victims of human trafficking under the age of 17 were found in Caddo Parish. Caddo Parish is only behind Orleans Parish which had 82.
84 victims under the age of 17 were originally from Caddo Parish, the most of any parish in the state.
Jessica Miller is Executive Director of the Gingerbread House in Shreveport which helps children who have been abused.
Miller said part of the increase could be because more agencies are reporting these crimes, but the public is also taking notice. She said “As a community we’re doing a good job of trying to identify these victims, rescue them out of this lifestyle and provide services to help them to heal.”