Governor Sam Brownback is hoping to help more human trafficking victims this year in the state of Kansas.
Thursday he signed a proclamation declaring January as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month.”
Attorney General Derek Schmidt says 217 trafficking victims were identified in 2013, nearly five times more than the year before, at 44 victims.
There were also three human trafficking convictions in the state last year.
Schmidt says this is a result of spreading the word about the issue.
“This is a real problem and it’s one where doing things such as a proclamation, talking about it, outreach and awareness can make a real difference in terms of getting victims connected with support, in terms of getting perpetrators to justice.”
Schmidt says there are about a dozen additional prosecutions currently pending, and at least a dozen investigations underway.