MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

According to the U.S. Department of State, in 2010 President Barak Obama dedicated January to raising awareness about the different forms of human trafficking and slavery.

What is human trafficking and slavery?

Human trafficking in person, known as modern slavery, includes forced labor and sex trafficking. Some estimate that as many as 24.9 million people, including children and adults, are trapped in human trafficking around the world, according to the Department of State.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline website stated that In 2020 more than 10,000 human trafficking cases were reported. This is a decrease from 2019 when there were more than 11,000 cases were reported.

How can you help bring awareness to human trafficking and slavery?

If you believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, you can call the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Another way you can bring awareness to this issue is by writing to your local, state, or federal elected officials letting them know that you care about fighting against human trafficking.

Organizing a fundraiser and donating the proceeds to an anti-trafficking organization can help combat against human trafficking as well.

Lastly, you can use your social media platforms to raise awareness by using hashtags such as #endtrafficking or #freedomfirst.

What’s the history of human trafficking?

One of the reasons that January is significant, according to the U.S. Department of State, is because Jan. 1, 1863 is when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed 3.1 million slaves. In 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment, officially outlawing slavery.

In 2010, President Barak Obama declared January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The State Department’s launched the biggest anti-trafficking program in 2017 called the Program to End Modern Slavery.