Florida attorney general focused on stopping human trafficking

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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody listens to the proceedings during a meeting of the Florida Cabinet Tuesday June 4, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is making human trafficking a top priority of her administration.

Moody spent more than a decade as a prosecutor and then a judge in Hillsborough County before taking the office of attorney general.

She said she’s seen the victims of human trafficking first hand in her courtroom.

“It’s something I talked about leading up to the day I took the oath of office,” Moody said.

Human trafficking in Florida takes many different forms.

“Florida is third in the nation when it comes to calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline,” she said.

It’s been called modern-day slavery, from farmworkers in the fields to hotel housekeepers to people forced to work in the sex industry, many people are forced to do work they do not want to do or are not compensated for.

“Seeing how children end up in criminal activities or organizations and how easy that happens because they are so vulnerable,” Moody said.

As attorney general, Ashley Moody has revamped the statewide task force on human trafficking. She serves at the co-chair on the National Association of Attorney’s General Human Trafficking Committee.

Moody said she doesn’t want to just talk about the problem, she’s focused on results.

“Focus on convictions, focus on getting these traffickers behind bars,” she said.

The attorney general said there are many different signs to look for to spot a victim of human trafficking.

The statewide task force is training a wide variety of people to look for someone who appears to be under the control of another person. Often the person who is a victim will not be able to make eye contact or even be able to speak without the permission of another person.

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