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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking in Tennessee.

The campaign is called "IT Has To Stop." A new website features information, current research and statistics, video, important contacts, and links for visitors to join nonprofits and other groups in the efforts to curb trafficking in Tennessee.

Visit the website: www.ITHasToStop.com.

"Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, it's unacceptable, and it's a crime in Tennessee," said TBI Director Mark Gwyn.

"We hope TBI's new public awareness campaign sheds some much-needed light on the issue, so we can increase the number of people who insist it has to stop in our state and beyond."

Researchers believe human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimate at least 100,000 children have been bought and sold in the country for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The average age of those young victims is13.

"Tennessee has recently been recognized for great strides in enacting laws to protect survivors of trafficking," said Gwyn. "We also have trusted nonprofits on the frontlines of this troubling fight. Now, we hope this new effort is our state's next step to rally public support and increase awareness of this kind of crime and the way out for those trapped."

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