It's a widespread problem that affects millions people around the world. Reporter Alexa Green explains how a local group is looking to clean up human trafficking, one soap bar at a time.
SYRACUSE N.Y-- 4,000 bars of soap. That's how many the Junior League members of Syracuse packed into their cars Sunday as they went to more than a dozen local hotels to help rase awareness for human trafficking.
"We are doing what's called a SOAP project, Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution, where we're going to go to various hotels and motels and offer them bars of soap with the human trafficking hotline on it," said Junior League of Syracuse President Heather Wallace.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as many as 300,000 children are at risk of being trafficked in the United States. Many of the victims, are young females, who are closely monitored. Junior league members said often the only time victims are alone, is in the bathroom.
"A bar of soap is something that every hotel will have. Whether it's a big chain or a small motel on the outskirts of a town. It's something they are required by law to have," said Junior League of Syracuse Public Relations Chair Kseniya Hogan.
"They would be in there, they could see it. They could rip off the label and hide it in their shoe. Just save that number. For somebody to know they can get help," added Wallace.
Junior League members said they chose to distribute the soap in hotels close to the Thruway, hoping victims would see the bars and call for help.
"People will continue to need soap. So if we can continue to provide that to hotels in our community, where girls may not be brought in the front door, but maybe the back door by their trafficker. We would really be pleased," said Junior League of Syracuse Community Vice President Megan Housted.
The soap bars provided by junior league members will replace the ones offered by the hotel. Members said the soap project is not a one-day event.They hope to continue providing it to local hotels on a regular basis.
Out of the 20 hotels junior members visited, 17 accepted the soap and other information about human trafficking.
For more information on the signs of trafficking or if someone you know is a victim, visit the website.