WXXI AM News

"Yes, Here" campaign raises awareness about human trafficking locally

Mar 6, 2017

Human trafficking is an issue many may not think happens locally, but one awareness campaign is trying to change that idea.

The Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking announced its "Yes, Here" bus campaign in an effort to educate the community about human trafficking in the area.

The chair of that coalition, Celia McIntosh said that starts by defining different kinds of trafficking.

“The fact that there’s a name to it, some people might not know that it is human trafficking. They have probably historically thought of a different name for it like smuggling, they’re not really aware because they’re not really clear on the different meanings."

The "Yes, Here" campaign focuses on sex and labor trafficking.

McIntosh said the campaign is meant to raise awareness across Rochester, but they’re especially trying to reach high risk populations.

"Historically youth, homeless, people who have been at risk for domestic or other child abuse in the past that increases their vulnerability. I mean this is a college town, that in and of itself may increase vulnerability."

The coalition partnered with the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT to create the bus graphics, and is asking people who spot the busses to take pictures send sightings to the group.

Human trafficking happens in all 50 states. New York has the 5th highest call volume to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.