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Campaign aims to raise human trafficking awareness in Louisiana

A statewide campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking in Louisiana will start with an emphasis on major sporting events, which law enforcement officials say attract the illegal activity.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards announced the campaign Wednesday at the Governor’s Mansion. The effort, Stop Trafficking LA: Human Trafficking is REAL, will focus on how to identify when a trafficking victim needs help and more specific services for victims.

The first major event the campaign will focus on to raise awareness is the NCAA Men’s Final Four Championship in New Orleans, which takes place in April.

“Human trafficking is modern day slavery, and we hope to educate the general public and deter trafficking activity during this major sporting event, which is often the perfect environment for this crime to flourish,” Donna Edwards said.

During a press conference at the Governor’s Mansion, the First Lady detailed the acronym REAL: recognizing the signs, educating others, acting immediately, and listening to victims and survivors.

More information from the Human Trafficking Prevention Resource Center of Louisiana is available at, and more on the statewide public awareness campaign can be found at

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