The joint law enforcement action “Operation HOPE” has led to the recovery of 32 sex trafficking victims in Arkansas.

According to a May 20 press release from the Arkansas Department of Public Safety (ADP), 25 local victims were identified as part of Operation Help and Opportunity to Prevent Exploitation (HOPE) while an additional seven women, believed to be victims of human trafficking, were offered support.

“Arkansas State Police (ASP) and members of the Arkansas Human Trafficking Council conducted the recovery operation over a single day, offering victims services such as food, lodging, on-site medical services, counseling, therapy, and drug rehabilitation,” ADP noted.

The operation was conducted in Hot Springs earlier this month.

“These concerted efforts will significantly contribute to making Arkansas a place where human trafficking is not tolerated,” said ASP Director Colonel Mike Hagar. “The dedicated law enforcement community in Arkansas is fully committed to approaching the grim reality of human trafficking with empathy, aiming to rescue victims from the shadows and provide them with the support and care they need to recover.”

ADP notes that “leading up to the operation, three children and one adult were removed from exploitative, vulnerable, and unstable situations. All minors were taken into protective custody, and the adult received victim services.”

Additional law enforcement entities involved in Operation HOPE included the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, Hot Springs Police Department, Garland County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), among others

Human trafficking is an underreported blight in our world, with an estimated 27.6 million victims worldwide at any given time.

According to the U.S. State Department, “Traffickers profit at the expense of their victims by compelling them to perform labor or to engage in commercial sex in every region of the United States and around the world.”

We applaud the men and women of law enforcement, and all others, involved in Operation Hope. Please pray for those involved in the operation, the victims who were found, and all those still caught in human trafficking.

Please also check out the available articles and resources below.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888). The Trafficking Hotline also connects victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking with services they need to get help and stay safe.

To learn more about human trafficking, listen to an episode of Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, My Rescue From Human Trafficking to New Life in Christ. You’ll hear Jean Marie Davis recount her life as a sex trafficking victim, to when she found freedom through Jesus Christ at a pregnancy resource center (PRC). Jean found practical help and a new life, and today is the executive director of a PRC in Vermont. To listen to the episode, click here.

You can also listen to another episode of Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, Human Trafficking: What You Need to Know. You’ll hear Linda Smith, President of Shared Hope International, discuss the trafficking of minors in the United States, how listeners can fight it and how parents can protect their children. To listen to the episode, click here.

Related articles and resources:

FBI Victim Services Division  

FBI Crimes Against Children 

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) 

NCMEC’s 24/7 call center number: 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678)

Human Trafficking: What You Need to Know

How to Fight Human Trafficking

Understanding the Scope of Human Trafficking

FBI’s ‘Operation Cross Country’ Leads to Rescue of 200 Human Trafficking Victims

‘Operation Lost Souls’ Recovers 70 Missing Children, Victims of Sex Trafficking

‘Operation Carolina Homecoming’ Recovers Over 150 Missing Children

Photo from Getty Images.