There are an estimated 313,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas, according to data released in December. Described as modern day slavery, human trafficking exploits children and adults by forcing them to engage in sex or labor.
An estimated 79,000 minors and youth are victims of sex trafficking, costing the state approximately $6.6 billion. Approximately 234,000 workers in Texas are victims of labor trafficking.
The report from the University of Texas at Austin's Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and its School of Social Work says these estimates “remain a conservative understatement of the prevalence of human trafficking in Texas."
What is our understanding of human trafficking in Texas? What's being done to help victims break free?
- Dr. Melissa Torres, Ph.D., director of the Human Trafficking Research Portfolio at the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault at the University of Texas at Austin
- Bruce Kellison, director of Bureau of Business Research at the IC² Institute at the University of Texas at Austin
- Deana Franks, deputy director of programs at the The Rape Crisis Center in San Antonio