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Fargo Bishop: ND human trafficking 'disturbing phenomenon'


FARGO (KFGO-AM) - The bishop of the Fargo Catholic Diocese says he's deeply troubled by the recent rise in North Dakota human trafficking cases. Bishop John Folda says the problem, which often involves children forced into prostitution, is a form of modern-day slavery. Many of the cases are concentrated in the oil patch.

“I don’t want to accuse the (oil) industry itself, but I think that anytime you’ve got large concentrations of people who are maybe not well-established; don’t have roots in the place, there’s going to be an in-road from traffickers” Folda said. “They’re going to try to use that situation to ply their trade so to speak, in an unfortunate way.”

“Here in this state, but also nationwide, it seems that the denigration of human dignity across the board is leading to human trafficking, which is nothing more than modern-day slavery,” according to Folda. “It really is a disturbing phenomenon that seems to be growing.”

Folda says as the problem grows, he envisions the church eventually taking a larger role in helping human trafficking victims. The bishop says the church has the structure and the resources to make a difference.