The Battle Against Human Trafficking

The U.S. State Department estimates that 800,000 men, women, and children, are trafficked across international borders each year by criminals.  It is also estimated that approximately 20% of those individuals go through the State of Texas.  In fact, Houston and El Paso are listed amount the “most intense trafficking jurisdictions in the country” according to U.S. Department of Justice.

Human trafficking is defined by the Bureau of Justice Statistics as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for one of three purposes:

1. Labor or services through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

2. A commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion; or,

3. Any commercial sex act, if the person is under 18 years of age, regardless of whether any form of coercion is involved.

It is important to know that human trafficking is not exclusive to one segment of society.  Human trafficking involves victims of all races, age groups, both males and females and U.S. citizens as well as non-citizens.   Individuals seeking to force people into human trafficking do not discriminate amongst their victims and often prey upon those who are most vulnerable.

<Todd Hunter, State Representative>