Buffalo's International Institute tackles Human Trafficking issue
Human trafficking is part of an estimated $32 billion worldwide business, involving the recruitment and entrapment of individuals through force, fraud and coercion.
According to estimates, more than 17,000 men and women are trafficked into the United States each year. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking prevention month.
Wednesday night the International Institute of Buffalo presented a documentary called "Lives for Sale."
International Institute's Amy Fleischauer said this crime is happening right here in Western New York.
"We worked with nearly 300 victims and people are often surprised, not only at that number, but what the face of those victims looks like," said Fleischauer. "There is such a lower awareness about this issue, so any statistic we have really are seen as a huge under estimates."
Fleischauer said the crime is very hidden because traffickers are good at what they do.