The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services releases a report that finds the number of reported juvenile trafficking victims rose by 20% in 2018. Child welfare manager Christy Tate said they don’t think the crime of human trafficking is getting worse, but there’s greater awareness about the problem.

“There’s been a lot of work over the past year, a couple of years, but really a lot work last year on just being able to identify and being trained,” said Tate.

Overall in 2018, there were 744 confirmed victims of trafficking, 58-percent were juveniles and as young as five months old. She said the oldest victim of human trafficking was 65-years-old.

“So I think that it’s really important to say that this problem does not discriminate by age.  We’ve got everything from toddlers to people in their 60’s,” said Tate.

The report also found that Orleans, Caddo and East Baton Rouge were the parishes most frequently identified as the trafficking locations for both adult and juvenile victims. She said that’s not a big surprise.

“Because of the interstates that we have and those corridors, and those are such high-traveled areas,” said Tate.