News

Teens Tackle Human Trafficking In Houston

Teens are among the groups found to be at greater risk of being trafficked

As 30,000 teens from around the country gather at NRG Park for a Lutheran youth gathering this week, many are learning about the realities of an ugly business. Houston is widely considered to be a hub for human trafficking. 

Through a partnership with United Against Human Trafficking youth are putting together hygiene kits that will be distributed to vulnerable populations and attending awareness workshops.

Kaylen Runyan, Lead Outreach and Education Specialist for United Against Human Trafficking, said it’s critical to educate middle and high school students about this issue because they are inherently more vulnerable to being trafficked.  

 

“This is the age where self-esteem and self-identity is really crucial and traffickers capitalize that,” said Runyan.

“Whenever they see a vulnerability like low self-esteem, they kind of pounce on that because they know that that’s someone that they can mold,” she said. 

A 2016 University of Texas report estimates over 300,000 Texans are currently being trafficked, including 79,000 youth victims of sex trafficking.

The advocacy group Children At Risk published a map earlier this year, which shows that many suspected illegal massage parlors are located in close proximity to Texas schools. 

Share