ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. (NewsNation Now) — People who dedicate their lives to helping victims of human trafficking and exploitation say it’s demanding work. Now, their mission has become even more difficult as misconceptions grow about what these crimes look like and who they impact.
Real and shocking stories of private islands and trafficked children have dominated recent headlines, along with viral internet conspiracy theories of a global faction of celebrity pedophiles. While all this goes on, human trafficking support agencies, like the Albany County Safe Harbour program in New York, say there are real examples of exploitation in our neighborhoods.
“We see it here in the Capital Region, in gangs,” said Nicole Consiglio, coordinator of Safe Harbour. “We also see parents trafficking their own children to feed a drug habit, or to pay their bills. It really does take on a lot of forms, and can happen anywhere at any time.”
Consiglio said both unproven conspiracies and large-scale Hollywood crimes can make parents unsuspecting of the commonplace dangers posed by traffickers.
“We don’t want that message to be lost in these stories that are out there to pull away and draw attention from what’s really going on here,” said Consiglio.
Viral internet theories have also muddied the messaging.
To read the full story by Giuliana Bruno on News Nation: Click HereTags: Albany, COVID, Misinformation, National Human Trafficking Hotline, New York, QAnon