Human Trafficking in My Own Neighborhood?

by the Parish Justice Commission

Yes, a restaurant within our parish boundaries, only one mile from our church, was raided by federal authorities on suspicion of human trafficking involving 27 victims.

According to Homeland Security, Human Trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act; in other words human slavery.

St. John Paul II called Human Trafficking, “a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights.”

Human Trafficking treats the human person as a commodity. It exploits the poor and the structures that cause poverty. And it is an assault on the family, since many victims are children, adolescents and young adults. (Human Life Intentional).

Florida ranks third in the United States for cases reported by states, according to Florida’s Attorney General, it was a tip from someone who noticed suspicious activity at the Largo restaurant that resulted in the raid. If you see something, say something. Report suspected Human Trafficking activity to Federal law enforcement by calling (866) 347-2423. Additional information may be obtained on the Homeland Security website at,, or by searching the internet for, “Homeland Security Human Trafficking.”

Courageously Living the Gospel…Your Parish Justice Commission