Students from Norwalk are raising awareness about human trafficking in an unusual way. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, they're taking their campaign to rest areas on Interstate 95.
Students involved in the Center for Youth Leadership at Brien McMahon High School have been talking about the problem of human trafficking for sometime. CYL member and recent graduate, 17-year-old Nina Raffio says a common misconception is that human trafficking happens in foreign places. "There've been local cases. Recently, girls were being pimped out of Bridgeport into New York City. And two of the six girls that were being pimped were from Norwalk." The high school students are visiting rest areas on Interstate 95 between Fairfield and New Haven this summer to hang posters about human trafficking. The information includes the national human trafficking hotline and warning signs that a teen may be a victim. The students chose the sites because rest areas and truck stops are destinations for people who traffic teens. CYL students have also worked on legislation to offer support for trafficking victims in Connecticut. And the group partners with New Haven based, human rights organization, Love 146, to teach high school students about the problem. In Connecticut, the department of Children and Families has identified at least 92 victims of trafficking who were placed in the care of the state since 2008.