22:10 PM

TPA, Florida Attorney General and It’s a Penalty join together and announce human trafficking awareness campaign

Today, TPA joined with the Florida Attorney General and the global organization It’s a Penalty to launch a campaign designed to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of human trafficking in Tampa Bay and the State of Florida.

Tampa has the 12th highest rate of calls per capita made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Florida as a state has the third highest rate of human trafficking cases reported. Reports of human trafficking increase around major events, such as the Super Bowl, due to the large influx of visitors. According to It’s a Penalty, there were 44 arrests related to human trafficking made at the Super Bowl one year ago.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody was at the event to lend her support on behalf of the State of Florida, to inspire everyone to stay vigilant and to be aware of the signs of a human trafficking victim.

“The signs of human trafficking can be observed by anyone,” said Moody. “And anyone can step up and take action to help.”

The Airport is assisting in the effort by posting digital signage around the airport campus with messages educating travelers about human trafficking and exploitation and how to report it.

As part of the awareness campaign, travelers will see painted goat statues inside TPA as a part of Project G.O.A.T -- Global Offensive Against Trafficking -- a charity launched by a Thonotosassa couple to raise money for organizations that fight human trafficking. They are a sampling of the 55 goats that will be auctioned off to raise both awareness and dollars toward the cause.

For more information on how to spot signs of human trafficking, go to https://itsapenalty.org/.