TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Residents gathered in Fairpark Saturday to rally against the trafficking of children
Co-organizer, Andrew Soper, said he saw a lot of posts on social media recently about children who were trafficked.
He started to repost them to bring awareness to his followers and then connected with those who were doing the same.
Soper said the group decided to rally to help end this global pandemic.
"This is something that has been going on for years, and years, and years, but it hasn't been as outspoken about. It hasn't been brought to light as it should have," he said.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 148 cases of human trafficking were reported last year in Mississippi.
Ninety-seven of those cases involved minors.
Bethany Hill was one of the advocates at the rally.
She said she wants to acknowledge the need to protect young children like her daughter.
"This has to stop. Our children are in danger. Our young women are in danger, and this is something that every single person that lives in this country needs to worry about," she said.
Hill said the group also raised money for Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit organization that helps rescue human trafficking victims.