South Florida leaders discuss ‘disturbing’ human trafficking trends

Jeanette Nuñez, Florida's lieutenant governor, took part in the discussion Monday morning in Miami-Dade County.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A roundtable discussion Monday sought to brainstorm ways to better prevent human trafficking as local leaders noted troubling trends in the state.

The discussion at Miami Dade College’s north campus was led by state Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, and brought together lawmakers, elected representatives and local activists.

In addition to Miami-Dade County State Attorney Kathryn Fernandez Rundle, who has been outspoken on the issue, Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez, a South Florida native, also attended for a brief time.

She said that while most people only think about human trafficking around big events like the Super Bowl, that needs to change, adding that this is a year-round fight, especially in South Florida.

“Florida ranks third in terms of calls to the national human trafficking hotline,” Núñez said. “That is disturbing to me. That is something that we cannot allow to continue. When you look at the number of human trafficking cases, they have more than doubled in four short years, from 2015 to 2019.”

Some of the specific items on the table include human trafficking education for school-aged children, as well as increased training for law enforcement.

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.