What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, or procurement of a person for labor or services for the purpose of involuntary servitude, slavery, or forced commercial sex acts. It is a form of modern day slavery. Human Trafficking includes all aspects of forcing an individual to perform labor or other services. Traffickers use debt bondage, psychological manipulation, threats, and physical violence to control victims. This labor can include sexual services, domestic labor, agriculture or field labor, and factory work. U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 persons are brought into the United States each year for labor or sexual exploitation. Due to its economic stability, cultural diversity, major interstates and airports, large number of sexually oriented businesses, and international border, Texas has become a hub for human trafficking. Texas is not only home to major human trafficking corridors, but many individual trafficking victims are brought to the state and forced to work against their will. The demand side of trafficking, which includes, for example, sweatshop or brothel owners, farmers, clients of sex workers, and people who hire domestic servants, is often neglected by trafficking prevention programs. Activities tend to focus only on the supply side with a view to curtailing it, protecting victims, and prosecuting the traffickers. While some of these individuals are fully aware of the mistreatment that occurs, many are ignorant to the severe abuse and exploitation involved in trafficking and is not aware that the majority of trafficking victims does not choose that lifestyle, but were forced or coerced into it. They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and...
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