human trafficking | KERA News

human trafficking

From Texas Standard:

Warning: this story contains descriptions that are disturbing.

Authorities in Mexico this weekend arrested two people they say were involved in a human trafficking operation. They rescued 24 young women who are from Colombia and Venezuela. This incident underscores how most of us understand human trafficking – as an international crime. But authorities in Texas are deepening their understanding of human trafficking as a local crime.

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.

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Texas is an epicenter for human trafficking. Recently, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton established a new unit of attorneys and investigators focused on combating human trafficking. Each year, thousands of adults and children are trafficked through the state and many end up living in cities like Dallas and Houston. It turns out some victims are walking into hospitals, and some doctors believe these visits are a window of opportunity to help them escape.

Texas Attorney General Unveils Unit To Fight Human Trafficking

Jan 14, 2016
Shelby Knowles / Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday announced a new unit in his office dedicated to combating human trafficking.

Operation Compass

Texas is second in the nation behind California in the number of reported human trafficking cases. That’s when people, including children, are sold into forced labor or the sex trade. The crimes are often unreported. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

A convention billing itself as "the largest event in the U.S. devoted to love and sex” opened Friday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Before the end of the weekend, more than 15,000 people are expected to turn up at EXXXOTICA.

Some North Texas nonprofits wanted to shut it down.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Human trafficking refers to people who are forced into labor or sexual exploitation. And the issue hits close to home.

The Interstate 10 corridor through Houston is the No. 1 trafficking route in the U.S. Some of the business reaches deep into North Texas. The public policy advocacy group Children at Risk recently led a tour of the seedier side of Dallas that’s the heart of the trafficking trade.