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Child Trafficking Hits Home

Updated: Wednesday, June 25 2014, 04:40 PM CDT

CHAMPAIGN -- A nationwide operation targeting child sex trafficking hits close to home.

The FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children conduct an operation across the country for the eighth time.

Newschannel at Nine's Nate Rodgers tells how many were arrested and what will happen to the 168 juveniles recovered; two  of which call Champaign home.

The operation included enforcement in 106 cities nationwide, resulting in 168 children recovered from forced prostitution.

"Our whole goal is to get these innocent kids off the street and get them help."

CASA advocates for all abused and neglected children in Champaign County when they face their offenders in court.  As two of the juveniles in the FBI's operation were from champaign, officials say, this should be a wake up call.  

"We all need to be vigilant and now you know think that just because we live in champaign this is never going to happen to their kids, because obviously it can."

Authorities say juveniles dont necessarily get into these situations on purpose, but social media certainly plays a role.

"Children are recruited via social networking sites, through telephone chat lines, and through text messaging."

"A lot of times they just get in the middle of something that they really have no idea what they're getting in the middle of and then they get to the point where there's a point of no return and they're in big trouble."

Record says there's really no one answer to how children are recruited. These cases may be extremely complicated and there doesn't have to be something wrong at home.

"A lot of times these children they're vulnerable and they're threatened with violence if they don't participate in this type of activity."

Now, a very long recovery ahead. Doctors will have to address the mental and emotional state of each victim. Also, multiple resources need to be put in place.

"All these kids will need services depending on what their situations are, you know, regardless they've been preyed upon by an adult so you can imagine their trust is gone for adults."

Record also says that people should be patient with these victims as these young victims may display a lot of acting out for a long period of time before things get addressed.
    
The FBI also says that they hope to reunite the juveniles back with family if that's the best option. If not, they will provide other resources.

Child Trafficking Hits Home


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