They are often kidnapped, lured or tricked into becoming victims of human trafficking.
And what started as a legislative issue, is now very personal for a local state senator who is working on plans to establish a shelter for girl victims of trafficking in Louisiana.
Public awareness is growing, yet, like most people, state Sen. Ronnie Johns didn't first realize at first the horror of human trafficking for the young victims and how big it is in the state and all over the world.
Johns is helping to establish a shelter for victims who are underage girls - girls like those whose suffering has brought him to tears.
"To hear how cruel these human traffickers were to these young women and what they went through, and what they were required to do and what they were forced to do, totally against their will,"said Johns.