Dane County is taking steps to raise awareness on the issue of human sex trafficking.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the county is focused on coordinated education efforts and resources for homeless and runaway youth.
The 2013 county budget includes $30,000 to replace recently eliminated federal funds that support outreach services to homeless and runaway youth, a group that youth advocates cautioned are susceptible to trafficking.
"At the very base, this problem exists because there's a demand for people to buy sex, and people need to realize if they're going to go out and purchase someone's body to use, that is not a victimless crime," Parisi said.
According to information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as many as 2.8 million children run away each year, and one-third become entangled in underground prostitution or pornography within 48 hours of living on the streets.