DETROIT — A University of Michigan janitor. A Ukrainian nightclub owner. A Detroit man nicknamed “Gruesome.”
The three men, authorities say, are all tied to a growing crime: human trafficking.
According to the U.S. Department of Justive, human trafficking has become the second fastest growing criminal industry — just behind drug trafficking — with children accounting for roughly half of all victims. Of the 2,515 cases under investigation in the U.S. in 2010, more than 1,000 involved children.
And those are only the ones we know of. Too often, authorities say, victims stay silent out of fear, so no one knows they exist.
That’s why President Obama declared January National Human Trafficking Awareness month.
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