TBI Report Shows Increase In Human Trafficking Reports In Tennessee

Image Credit: TBI & GDJ-OpenClipArt / Public Domain

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

As Tennesseans gain a greater understanding of the realities of human trafficking, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reports that calls to their human trafficking hotline have increased more than 400% over the past few years.

Last year, the TBI received 1,291 tips on their hotline while they only received 245 in 2016. Most of the calls coming in were regarding child sex trafficking, with over 600 reports received in 2022.

The TBI released this and other information after legislators passed House Bill 7041 / Senate Bill 7088, which required that a report be submitted on the state of human trafficking by the end of the year. The last report submitted was in 2013.

The submitted report was 10 pages long and featured an overview, along with statistics from the last few years and an explanation of some of the steps the TBI has taken to work towards ending human trafficking in the state.

The report noted that reports of all kinds of trafficking have increased, but the most dramatic increase has come in regarding child sex trafficking. The age of victimized children ranges from 5 months to 17 years, with a majority of those (45%) reported about children between the ages of 13 and 17. About half of all calls regarding minors are from the Department of Child Services as a part of their weekly report to TBI.

As a part of their fight against trafficking in the state, the TBI has been proactive in combating commercial sex crimes since 2015. There were 15 operations conducted this year, resulting in the recovery of 17 minors.

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The TBI stated that more resources would enable them to continue to work through their investigations of online sex ads to look for potential victims of sex trafficking.

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