Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate visited the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce Wednesday to talk about his Iowa Business Against Trafficking program. This program launched in January of this year, and has reached more than 550 businesses across the state.

According to Chains interrupted dot com the number of human trafficking cases is on the rise in Iowa. The goal of the IBAT organization is to help bring an end to trafficking.

Pate said the victims of human trafficking continue to get younger and younger.

One of the actions IBAT takes to help victims is to place stickers in locations where victims may go alone.

“Some of the basic program is just putting little stickers in bathrooms, letting people who are victims or are being trafficked know there’s help out there and they can go for it,” he said. They’ve also partnered with organizations to create awareness where trafficking is likely to occur.

“We partnered with the truckers and the rest stop associations and the hotel people – all the venues that possibly have eyes and ears out there who can help get that message out and save these people and bring them back in,” he said.

Because human trafficking is an underground criminal industry, it’s hard to capture the accurate statistics of it in the United States.