UK Student Shines A Light On Human Trafficking

Sep 27, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A University of Kentucky sophomore is becoming a leading local voice in the fight against human trafficking. Austin Knight says a PBS Frontline documentary first drew him to the issue in high school. That led the 19-year-old psychology major to build a website called SlaveryisReal.org.  


"This is not just a global issue, but this is a local issue too," he says.


Knight says his website has since become a non-profit dedicated to educating the public and connecting volunteers from across the country. For its first major fundraiser, the organization is taking part in the fourth annual Bourbon Chase this weekend with a goal of raising $5000. But concerned citizens don’t need to run to contribute to the effort. Knight says paying closer attention to the products and services we consume can have a big impact.  


"We create that demand and then a 32-billion dollar industry is brought about and it fills this market with the large amount of human slaves that we have in our world today," Knight adds.


Kentucky Rescue and Restore says it has documented 91 cases of human trafficking in Kentucky since 2008, but Marissa Castellanos, a program manager with Catholic Charities, told the Lexington Herald-Leader many cases go unreported.