ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WTSP) – Human trafficking is the second leading illegal business in the world, second only to drug trafficking. Florida is among the top states for human trafficking in the U.S. because of factors that include its large number of immigrants & visitors, runaway minors and hotels.

On Monday, March 20th, St. Petersburg College is hosting a free workshop on human trafficking to educate people on the types of human trafficking that affect men, women and children as well as ways they can help people caught in human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a crime that occurs beneath the surface,” said Katariina Rosenblatt, Ph.D., a human trafficking survivor who will be a speaker at the workshop. “A lot of times people just assume that this younger woman with this older man is a real, legitimate relationship of a boyfriend/girlfriend or a family member, but really that is her pimp and controller and it doesn’t always have to be a man, it can be a woman who is there controlling them, abusing them, and really just bringing them into the salon to get them all dolled up to go out and prostitute for this person.”

Part of the workshop will focus on educating workers in the salon industry, who often have trafficking victims come through their businesses without them ever knowing it.

“In a salon, of course, if you see a girl come in with bruises and low self esteem just like any environment, the school industry, kids in schools, if you see them coming in with inappropriate dress for their age or for the weather, those are good signs,” said Dr. Rosenblatt, who now runs the nonprofit “There Is Hope For Me” organization which works to combat human trafficking. “Or if you have someone that is standing close by that is controlling them, those are definitely signs to look for.”

The workshop is free and open to the public. It’s scheduled for Monday, March 20th from 10am-2pm at the St. Pete. College Allstate Campus (3200 34th St. S, St. Petersburg, FL, 33711).


ANONYMOUS HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE: 1-888-373-7888 *OR* (888-3737-888)