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Beshear To Hold Human Trafficking Awareness Training in West Kentucky

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is holding training sessions in far west Kentucky this month to bring awareness to human trafficking issues. 

Many of the sessions are geared towards health care workers, law enforcement, first responders and civic leaders. 

Beshear said human trafficking is modern-day slavery, in which adults and children are forced into sex or labor services.  

“For those that don’t recognize human trafficking, here’s a simple fact. In the commonwealth of Kentucky there is no such thing as a child prostitute. That child is a victim who needs our help and that trafficker needs to be brought to justice.”

He said too many people think of Hollywood movies when they think of human trafficking, and says it occurs everyday in every Kentucky community.

“It involves such horrendous examples that we’ve seen as a foster parent selling his foster daughter’s body for furniture. Of a couple of parents who have dressed young children in clothes they should never be in and attempt to pimp them out outside of a movie theater. Those children are being trafficked.”

While people should want to report human trafficking of adults, he said, it is a “legal obligation and duty” to report incidents involving children.

Upcoming sessions are July 24 and 25 in McCracken and Marshall Counties. Later sessions this summer are in Fayette and Jefferson Counties. (See the details below per a release)

The Attorney General's office is working on 14 active cases and have assisted law enforcement in resolving 96 other complaints. The Department of Justice awarded funding to Beshear's office and the Catholic Charities of Louisville in 2016 to combat human trafficking.

Some Upcoming Sessions:

July 17-18

Keeneland staff

July 24

  • 9 a.m. - Lourdes Hospital in Paducah for law enforcement and first responders
  • Noon - Marshall County Rotary Club at Majestic Steak House in Benton
  • 2 p.m. - Joe Creason Community Center in Benton for law enforcement and first responders

July 25

  • 7:15 a.m. - Lourdes Hospital clinical staff
  • 9 a.m. - Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police Conference at Paducah Convention Center

July 28

Fayette County Public School staff

August 1

Jefferson County Public School psychologists

August 8

Juvenile Justice Advisory Board Conference in Lexington

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
Taylor is a recent Murray State University graduate where she studied journalism and history. When she's not reporting for WKMS, she enjoys creative writing and traveling. She loves writing stories that involve diversity, local culture and history, nature and recreation, art and music, and national or local politics. If you have a news tip or idea, shoot her an email at!
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