FAIRBANKS, Ak - Each year, communities across the globe pause to reflect on a societal issue that continues to be a growing problem.
Tomorrow (Friday, January 11, 2013) is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a designation that seeks to shed light on the proliferation of the issue and seeks ways communities can combat the trade.
Each year, over 30 million people worldwide are trafficked for sex, slavery or for other nefarious reasons.
In Alaska, human trafficking has been an increasing issue as more and more Alaskan Native women have fallen victim to trafficking criminals.
Senator Lisa Murkowski has been a vocal advocate for trafficking victims.
In July of 2011, Murkowski asked, then U.S. Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, why human trafficking is so prevalent in society.
"Lack of research and understanding of the issue, law enforcement didn't always know how to identify the issue, so more training is needed, we found that perhaps some of the grant programs might need some additional flexibility to allow grantees to focus on trafficking," Perrelli said as he testified over the numerous issues surrounding human trafficking.
"We need to, people need to understand better because I think there is a sense that in individual communities, they don't even know it's happening until there is a major prosecution."
Governor Sean Parnell's administration has continued to fight human trafficking in Alaska.
The State of Alaska Task Force on the crimes of Human Trafficking, Promoting Prostitution and Sex Trafficking will meet January 28 in Anchorage.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the recommendations they will include in their final report, having spent much of the year holding public meetings in communities most affected by trafficking.