human trafficking

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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.

From Texas Standard:

Activists gathered on the south steps of the Texas Capitol Wednesday morning to pressure lawmakers to keep fighting human trafficking during the 85th Legislative Session.

Advocates say there’s lots of work left to be done to curb trafficking. Now there are hard numbers to show by how much.

From Texas Standard:

For a while, we've known that human trafficking is a big problem in Texas. But a new study from D.C. advocacy group called the Polaris Project looked at nearly a decade's worth of data and found that much of human trafficking in Texas operates in illicit bars and cantinas.

My Lo Cook, director of Polaris' efforts in Mexico, says the cases in Houston center around cantinas, which researchers see as common venues for human trafficking in Southern California as well. Houston has more cases than other cities, Cook says, in part because local officials and organizations make the effort to link cases together and prosecute them.

 


Ryan E. Poppe

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the launch of the Texas Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime Unit.  Paxton says the unit will not only focus on sex crimes, but also incidents and businesses using what he labeled as “slave labor.”

 

“It includes young men and women who come to our country and being forced to work imaginary and endlessly revolving debts against their captors," Paxton said.

 

The report that ISIS is forcing girls as young as 12 to become sex slaves is part of a larger issue. In the world today, an estimated 2 million underage girls work in the sex trade.

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