Yes, child trafficking takes place in Central New York
Children fall victim to traffickers who lure them with offers of food, clothes, friendship, attention and a seemingly safe place to sleep, explains child abuse pediatrician Alicia Pekarsky, MD. She's an assistant professor of pediatrics at Upstate who works in the Child Abuse Referral and Evaluation Program at the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Syracuse. She talks about the signs that may suggest a child is being trafficked for commercial sex. Precise numbers are difficult to gather, but Pekarsky says some 400 phone reports were received about minor victims of sex trafficking in New York state last year, a number that is likely much larger. Children who are used for commercial sex acts often are moved from city to city. New York state offers a hotline for reports of trafficking and sexual exploitation: 315-218-1966. Pekarsky notes three additional resources: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Polaris Project and the Child Welfare Information Gateway.