Slavery doesn’t just occur in history books. Slavery happens every day in our own communities. Human trafficking crimes continue to grow in the shadows of our society, and is one of the largest criminal industry in the world.
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation and/or forced labor.
Human trafficking is a violation of a person’s basic human rights and needs be addressed from a human rights’ perspective that centers on efforts to restore the most basic human rights of a trafficked person…their human freedom of choice.
Traffickers offer fraudulent promises of employment, a romantic relationship, education or a better life to lure their victims. They coerce victims into servitude through the use of blackmail, manipulation, intimidation that includes threatening serious harm to the victims or their family members. Traffickers often also use force on their victim through confinement, starvation, physical assault and/or rape.
The crime of human trafficking can happen everywhere but large cities, like Houston are especially ripe for this crime. Houston contains many elements that create the perfect storm for this crime to flourish. The city provides access to major freeways, international air and shipping ports and a busy rail industry. The city’s proximity to the Mexican border, coupled with its transportation accessibility, makes it a popular point of entry for human trafficking.
What’s more, having such a diverse population makes it relatively easy for trafficking victims to blend in with the rest of society. All of these features effortlessly facilitate the transportation of both domestic (US Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) and international victims (Foreign-born).
The harsh reality is; there is an estimated 21 million people who are enslaved worldwide. Victims of human trafficking are both, from the United States and foreign born. They are women, men, teenagers and young children. This is a crime we cannot ignore and it will take all of us coming together to bring an end to human trafficking.