TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's called a "hidden crime" and it's happening in our own backyards.
Investigators, researchers and now lawmakers are saying more should be done to shine a light on human trafficking.
January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and an indiana lawmaker has taken up the charge.
State Representative John Bartlett, of Indianapolis, is proposing a bill to study human trafficking. Bartlett says recent research found it's a $154 billion industry but he thinks that number is much higher.
He explains human trafficking can be broken down into four parts: sex, slave labor, human organ trade and farms. Farms involves the breeding of young girls and sale of the babies.
Bartlett says it's a disgusting problem at it's happening in Indiana.
State Representative John Bartlett says, "We had an arrest here in the state of Indiana. February last year, we arrested a hundred and twenty-eight adults. We recovered eighty-two juveniles. The youngest was three months old.”
According to victim advocacy group, Hope's Choice, 59 human trafficking cases were reported in Indiana last year.