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January 15, 2013

S.C. observes National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

South Carolina is observing National Human Trafficking Awareness month in January, officials announced Tuesday at a news conference in the State House.

South Carolina is observing National Human Trafficking Awareness month in January, officials announced Tuesday at a news conference in the State House.

Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, read a proclamation from Gov. Nikki Haley announcing the state’s participation in the national observation.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson lauded lawmakers for passing a bill last year aimed at fighting human trafficking. Wilson has created a task force to research the problem in the state and make legislative recommendations.

The number of incidents of human trafficking in the state is “elusive,” making the scope of the problem difficult to know, said Tricia Ravenhorst with the S.C. Victim's Assistance Network.

Ravenhorst said sometimes victims are lured to the state with promise of a job and arrive to find themselves in a trafficking situation.

Ravenhorst said she's seen victims trafficked for sex, labor or even work in the food and beverage industry.

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