GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A peaceful protest against human trafficking in Grand Rapids brought a frequently forgotten criminal business to the forefront. 

Wherever there are people, there is the potential for human trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The department says thousands of cases are reported every year, though many cases go unnoticed.

It’s a cause that compelled the folks along Monroe Avenue to make a stand.

“I’m really impressed with all the people out here,” said Kim Mol of Hudsonville. “They are for save the children!”

It was organized by groups trying to communicate to the state that children need more protection and that they shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle.

“There’s just so much going on that people are looking at all the hot-button topics and not of the cries of the innocent,” said Mark Gurley, founder of the advocacy group Make Michigan Great Again. “And this is really about taking care of the cries of the innocent.”

People can get in touch with the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888.373.7888.