MCAO Holds Red Sand Event to Commemorate Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Red Sand Project card with MCAO employee pouring sand in background

In January, Maricopa County, along with the rest of the nation, recognized Human Trafficking Awareness month with individuals and organizations holding events and spreading the message about this troubling practice that impacts far too many innocent people.

On January 24, members of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office participated in a Red Sand Event to show their dedication to raising awareness of this issue and doing their part to hold offenders accountable.

Red Sand Event - County Attorney Allister Adel Speaking

“Human Trafficking is a very real problem that we cannot ignore,” stated Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel. “It is a business where traffickers prey on the vulnerable—young children and adults alike—and we cannot turn a blind eye. As members of the community, we have a duty to be proactive, take steps to end trafficking, protect victims and help survivors.”

Attendees were given packets of red sand to pour into the cracks of a walkway in downtown Phoenix. The gesture created an art installation symbolizing the millions of trafficking victims who are often overlooked and fall through the cracks.

The Red Sand Project is a nationwide movement launched by Molly Gochman in 2014, when she realized that through human trafficking, slavery continues to be a contemporary reality, and that to find a solution to such a widespread challenge, public awareness and engagement would be essential.

MCAO is an active member of the Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force. The Task Force seeks to find incidents of human trafficking; identify ways to end these crimes and help victims of the sex trade and forced labor; promote greater collaboration with law enforcement, state agencies and the community-at-large; and raise public awareness about victims’ services and prevention and well as promote legislation to address related issues.

MCAO urges you to talk to your kids about being online and support after school programs to protect our children from being victimized. If you think someone is being trafficked, call the national hotline 888-SOS-Child or local law enforcement.

MCAO prosecutors are available to provide training to schools, law enforcement and other groups on how to recognize and prevent human trafficking. If you would like to schedule a training, you can call (602) 506-3411, or place a request through our Speakers Bureau at this link:

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