Friday, February 28, 2014

Feb. 27th was Texas Human Trafficking Awareness Day

In an official proclamation, Governor Rick Perry declared Feb. 27th as Texas Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

On the subject, Perry released to following statement:

"Texas has taken strong steps to combat human trafficking, but key to preventing and ending this horrible crime is public awareness that millions still suffer exploitation around the nation and the world. I urge all Texans to join me today in bringing awareness to this important issue as we continue to fight to bring justice to human trafficking offenders, and help to their victims."
In the proclamation, Perry cites HB 3000 from the Texas 82nd Legislature. The law makes human trafficking a first-degree felony in the Republic of Texas. Perry signed the bill into law in 2011. Texas Representative Senfronia Thompson sponsored the bill. Of the Governor's proclamation, Thompson stated:

"We all must work together to end this despicable crime that degrades and destroys the lives of its victims in all corners of our country and our world. Texas has taken a strong stance against human trafficking and I will continue this fight as long as it takes."
Follow this link to view a copy of the official proclamation.

In observance of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Attorney General and candidate to Governor, Greg Abbott, promised to push for Texas to continue the fight against this crime.

Texas's battle against sex slavery and human trafficking didn't end in 2011 with HB3000's passage. In 2013, The 83rd legislature passed further laws to assist victims of these crimes.

Human Trafficking is a modern form of slavery. Many foreign nationals are taken across the borders and into the US against their wills. They are forced into servitude as sex slaves or to work in sweat-shops. Many are forced to work in horrendous and unsafe conditions for little to no pay.

Worse, many of those trafficked originally come willingly. They are promised assistance in passage and attaining forged documentation. One in the US, they find they owe the "coyotes" more than they are able to make working. Many are forced into prostitution or pornography, often conditioned to be addicted to illicit drugs. The drug addictions usually increase the debt the indentured owe their slave masters and the coyotes. This perpetuates the spiral of slavery.

Human trafficking is a two way path across the border. Many Americans, usually teenagers and children, are smuggled across the border. From there they are sold as indentured workers or sex slaves in countries that have looser child labor and pornography laws.

Human Trafficking Awareness should not cease at the end of a single calendar day. It is a subject that is worthy of attention, prevention, and prohibition every day.