Anchorage (KTUU) Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked in the U.S. each year.
Activists filled downtown Anchorage this weekend to bring awareness to this fact. This event is called the Barefoot Mile.
Participants walk without shoes in solidarity for children in poverty, who organizers say are the most vulnerable to trafficking.
"There is no worse crime against children since the dawn of creation," Barefoot Mile founder Dr. Jeff Brodsky said. "Nobody can convince me of it. For years we used to go under cover to brothels to rescue children...I have rescued children as young as 4-years-old. "
In recent years, a dramatic spike has been seen in the number of people being trafficked across Alaska, but officials say that's because the crime is better known now.