BATON ROUGE – Governor John Bel Edwards announced the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Louisiana a $1.2 million grant to aid children impacted by human trafficking.
The governor made the announcement during a press conference Wednesday morning. Edwards says the grant will be used to fund a multi-year federal project known as the Louisiana Child Trafficking Collaborative.
Edwards has also declared January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Louisiana.
“In Louisiana alone, over the last several years thousands of victims have been identified as either confirmed or prospective victims of human sex or labor trafficking. This must end,” Governor Edwards said.
In February 2018, DCF’s annual report to the Legislature stated that there were a total of 681 confirmed or prospective victims of human trafficking here in Louisiana. 641 of those were sex trafficking victims 29 were sex and labor trafficking victims. Of all reported victims 356 were identified as juveniles again which was a 77 percent increase from the previous year.
Louisiana is one of only seven states to receive this funding since 2015. The governor’s office says the grant will be implemented over a three year period.
In 2016, Shared Hope International ranked Louisiana #1 in the nation for its anti-trafficking laws.