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There are an estimated 234,000 victims of labor trafficking in Texas at any given time and 79,000 victims of youth and minor sex trafficking in Texas at any given time, according to data in the Statewide Human Trafficking Mapping Project for Texas(2016).
Health care and social services professionals have a unique and important opportunity to recognize, report and even prevent human trafficking.
January is designated National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The HHS Texas Human Trafficking Resource Center, which serves as the liaison between external stakeholders and agency programs on issues regarding victims of human trafficking, is committed to increasing health care providers’ awareness of the issue.
The center offers trainings for health care providers and others who might come into contact with victims of human trafficking, as well as other resources.
To date, the center approved 13 human trafficking trainings for health care providers. The center also continues to review and approve trainings from a variety of practitioner stakeholders and posts the approved trainings.
In 2020, the Texas Human Trafficking Resource Center:
- Provided assistance to hundreds of health care providers, connecting them with human trafficking awareness and prevention training.
- Developed a free human trafficking prevention training that will be made available to the public in early 2021.
- Developed and published the HHSC Provider Guidebook: Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in Texas (PDF) for health care professionals.
HHS Program Specialist Brandi Soules manages the Texas Human Trafficking Resource Center and represents HHS on the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council, which will begin rolling out its five-year strategic plan (PDF) this month through a webinar series on Tuesdays from 12-1 p.m. starting Jan. 19.
The webinar series, Strategic Plan: Charting an End to Human Trafficking in Texas, includes:
- Jan. 19: Prevent: Assess the Threat of Human Trafficking in Texas
- Jan. 26: Protect: Investigate and Conduct Human Trafficking Operations
- Feb. 2: Prosecute: Prosecute Human Trafficking Using all the Tools Available
- Feb. 9: Provide Support: Provide Follow-up Care to Victims After Recovery
- Feb. 16: Partner: Identify and Build Partnerships
Click here to join the Zoom meeting. The webinar ID is 916 0684 8016 and the password is 876461. To RSVP, email Office of the Attorney General Human Trafficking.
The center also participates in the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force, which develops legislative recommendations to enhance the state’s efforts to address the crime of human trafficking. To learn more, visit the Texas Human Trafficking Resource Center.
For questions, email Texas HHS Human Trafficking.