Orlando 3rd in nation for human-trafficking calls

Greater Orlando ranks third in the United States for the number of reports to the national human-trafficking hotline, Central Florida leaders announced Thursday — a statistic they said indicated a growing awareness of the problem in a vulnerable community.

“Because of our tourism, because we are transient, because we are growing rapidly, it makes us a community where this type of exploitation is more likely to happen,” said Tomas Lares, founder and executive director of Florida Abolitionist, the regional nonprofit organization devoted to eradicating the problem. “Too often, we don’t know our neighbors, so a house where people are kept for trafficking is more likely to escape notice.”

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