2012 marked the opening of Houston’s first safe house for victims of human trafficking. It was also the year that saw the formation of “A 2nd Cup”, a coffee shop dedicated to educating people on human trafficking, and just this week County Commissioner’s vowed to crackdown on Sexually Orientated Businesses.
Dr. Bob Sanborn with Children at Risk says it’s all positive movement, but there’s still a long way to go.
“You know we sort of take heart in the little victories that we get, but we know that the traffickers are winning right now. Luckily we have a lot of policy makers and public officials on our side, but we need to do a lot more to win this war.”
Policy is where Children at Risk will take its next fight. A new 2013 legislative session will ring in for Texas and with that Sanborn hopes a fresh round of trafficking laws.
“A lot more pieces of legislation that we need to have passed, including helping victims in an even greater manor, [and] educating law enforcement to a greater degree. These are sort of the beginnings of the things we need to do.”
Sanborn knows these things will help, but ultimately he says its general awareness that’s key to putting a stop to human trafficking.
“We really have to start having those conversations in our community about how do we end demand and I think at the local level people need to be ashamed and outraged to say, ‘Let’s shut these places down.’”
Nearly 20 speakers joined Sanborn to discuss human trafficking at the summit in Dallas yesterday. For more information on that summit click here.