Human trafficking is a grim subject, but one that should be brought to light. Janice Dyer and Carol Stephens, with the Lowcountry Coalition Against Human Trafficking explained the very real definition of human trafficking and that it does happen right here in the lowcountry. In fact, resort areas are often a target to those who deal in human trafficking.  They love resorts and they love borders, two things we have in plenty.

The Lowcountry Coalition Against Human Trafficking is charged with raising public awareness of this crime and is now also working toward a goal of developing rehabilitation and housing for victims of human trafficking.

According to an earlier article from on “Sex slavery, human trafficking 'alive and well' in SC“, statistics show there are an estimated 150,000 sex trafficking victims in the United States. They are usually between 12 and 14 years old and live for just 7 years. These victims are, on average, sold between 10 and 15 times a day for at least 6 days a week. Only one to two percent of these victims are rescued. Human trafficking can take place in the form of prostitution, forced work labor and is another form of slavery.

"If you look at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there's probably 5,200 to 5,500 kids at a time that are missing that are expected to be in to prostitution," said FBI special agent David Thomas. "People seem to think slavery has gone away, but unfortunately it didn't," said Thomas. "It's still alive and well."

Thomas says it's alive and well in South Carolina because, according to him, the state is a "target-rich environment. We have a huge agricultural industry, and that industry kind of lends itself to that kind of activity," said Thomas. "We have tourism, a very large tourism industry; you look at Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, and Charleston."

In 2012, the South Carolina legislature passed comprehensive new legislation to combat human trafficking in South Carolina. The law became effective on December 15, 2012.

According to law enforcement, human trafficking is becoming one of the most lucrative criminal businesses in this country, second only to drug trafficking here in the US. What can we do? Educate ourselves, learn more, be observant, report suspicious behavior and educate your children and grandchildren.