On Monday, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye declared January Human Trafficking Awareness Month on the reservation. The tribe joins several U.S. cities and the federal government in efforts to raise awareness about this kind of abuse. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.
With the help of schools, law enforcement and community organizations, the tribe’s proclamation is designed to educate the public about human trafficking. Navajo officials will also work with the volunteer organization Navajo Nation Missing Persons, which conducts searches on the reservation, in border towns and online.
No statistics exist for human trafficking on the Navajo Nation, but tribal lawmakers are pushing for a study. A law that went into effect last year allows Navajo officials to prosecute anyone accused of human trafficking on tribal land.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in seven child runaways in the U.S. is likely a victim of sex trafficking.