January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month: What Houstonians need to know

By Amanda Cochran - Social Media Producer

HOUSTON - January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

Texas is a major global destination for human trafficking, according to a study by Cheryl Butler in the Akron Law Review. Twenty-five percent of all trafficking victims in the United States are found in Texas. 

Texas also has the second-highest reported human trafficking cases in the nation, behind California, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

But what is human trafficking? 

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act, according to information provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Millions of men, women, and children are trafficked into forced labor situations and into the sex trade worldwide. Many victims are lured from their homes with false promises of well-paying jobs; instead, they are forced or coerced into prostitution, domestic servitude, or other types of forced labor. Victims are found in legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including sweatshops, massage parlors, agricultural fields, restaurants, hotels, and domestic service.

If you suspect that a person may be a victim of human trafficking, call the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations Tip-line at 1-866-347-2423. You can also report online at www.ice.gov/tips.



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