HOUSTON – January is human trafficking prevention month. There were 1,080 reported cases of human trafficking connected to Texas in 2019, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
What is human trafficking?
“Human trafficking is when someone through force, fraud or coercion is made to engage in commercial sex trade or labor services,” said Commander Kristine Anthony-Miller of the Houston Police Department’s VICE Division.
What is Houston police doing about it?
HPD tries to be both proactive and reactive in its response, Anthony-Miller said. Officers respond to tips from places like the national hotline and also go into the community to target sex buyers and identify possible victims.
“Most trafficking occurs to US citizens and they can be your next-door neighbors,” Anthony-Miller said.
What are other organizations doing?
The Houston nonprofit Elijah Rising is one of several local groups working to help victims.