RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed January as National Human Trafficking Month and Monday was the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness.

Forced labor and sex trafficking is not just a worldwide problem, but also one that hits home here in North Carolina.

North Carolina is shining its own light on the global human rights issue.

On Monday, The Salvation Army and Partners Against Trafficking Humans NC (PATH) recognized the governor’s proclamation and statewide initiatives to raise awareness.

PATH NC honored 23 different organizations for their efforts to stop trafficking in North Carolina.

For those being recognized for their fight, it was empowering to share a room with others who are fighting the same battle.

“It’s too much for one person to do and there’s not one agency that can really address trafficking. There are people all over the state that have been really active in addressing the issue of human trafficking, and this is a way of bringing them together and recognizing those efforts,” said Dr. Dean Duncan with the UNC-Capel Hill School of Social Work.

Human trafficking is the second-largest international criminal industry and at least 200,000 American kids are at risk every year.