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Lawmaker Hosts Human Trafficking Summit

Human trafficking summit to increase awareness and protect children from being victimized

The summit at University of Houston in Sugar Land included lawmakers, law enforcement agencies and people who help victims of human trafficking. The seedy side to human trafficking is sex trafficking, where many victims are as young as 12.Congressman Pete Olson told the gathering that legislation passed in Washington goes a long way in providing incentives for states to adopt laws that protect victims, punishes clients and sex traffickers. One measure would be to expand Megan’s law that requires authorities to keep tabs on the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders:

“We do have authority to pass laws to make it easier for the evil doers to get put in jail, and make sure victims are put on a path to recovery from this terrible ordeal.”

Summit participant Dr. Robert Sanborn of the advocacy group Children at Risk. He says the major trafficking corridors of I-10 and Highway 59 would not be popular if no one was exploiting the girls:

“We are right now, the front lines of the battle against trafficking right here in Houston. We have to be the front lines of the solution as well.”

He says the gathering served to get attention from policy makers:

“Houston would not be the hub, if we didn’t have all this demand. There are men that are buying young girls, there are men that are buying these victims, we need to make sure that we’re addressing that. If we didn’t have that problem, then we wouldn’t have to have these forums.”   

Human trafficking is the second largest criminal activity next to drug trafficking in the country

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