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Human trafficking is a much bigger problem in Shreveport and Louisiana as a whole than most people realize. Here's how you can learn more and join the fight.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines human trafficking as, "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them for profit."

A Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services study reported 759 instances of human trafficking in 2021. 94% of the reported cases involved sex trafficking. Out of the total number of victims, 70% were identified as juveniles. Those numbers are absolutely shocking. For many of us, including myself, the thought of what amounts to modern-day slavery is so far out of our realm of understanding that we can't conceive of this level of depravity happening in our own backyards.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says, "Men, women, and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world."

In our area, there are several resources available to victims and for those who suspect someone of being a victim or a human trafficker. To find out more, visit the Caddo Parish District Attorney's website for contact information.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "Traffickers often use violence or fraudulent employment agencies and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims."

In short, anyone could become a victim. We are constantly seeing instances of human trafficking in our region in the news. But there are still so many lost who need saving. Will you join the fight by educating yourself and helping to spread awareness about this horrific crime? If you're willing to lead with your heart, there's a special conference coming to Shreveport.

Saturday, June 16, 2022, you have the opportunity to attend the annual South Central U.S. Human Trafficking Conference at LSU Shreveport in the University Center. The event will run from 7:30 am till 5 pm and is free to attend. This year's featured speaker is Cyntoia Brown-Long, a survivor and advocate.

Thanks to the conference chair, Laurie McGehee, who is with Caddo Parish Juvenile Services and is the director of The FREE Coalition to End Human Trafficking in Louisiana, we have a sneak peek of what to expect at the event thanks to the flyer provided below. We hope you'll join the fight.

Human Trafficking Conference Flyer 2022

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50+ Pictures of Shreveport's Abandoned Historic Fairgrounds Field

Before you know it, Shreveport's historic Fairgrounds Field will be will be exactly that - history. Once the legal wrangling is done, the proverbial endangered-bat-guano will hit the fan and the once glorious Ratchet-City cathedral to baseball will be demolished and gone.

Before it "bats" its final inning, let's take a final look at the glory that once was. I warn you though, it's kind of like seeing that super-hot girl from high school 20 years later - and time has not been kind.

These awesome pictures were provided by urban photographer extraordinaire Ron DeBello.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

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