Brazos County agencies work to combat human trafficking
An estimated 40.3 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery.
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -More than 300,000 people are victims of some sort of human trafficking each year in the state of Texas according to a trafficking report released by the U.S. Department of State.
Human trafficking, as defined by the United Nations, is the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or receipt of people through force, fraud, and deception. As of 2008, more than 38% of all calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center originated from Texas.
The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office and the nonprofit UnBound are asking for a grant from the Department of Justice to form a task force to take on human trafficking.
Brazos County Commissioners met Tuesday to approve the request paving the way for the creation of the task force.
The task force’s mission is to identify human trafficking survivors, provide them access to important services and to arrest and prosecute traffickers using a survivor and trauma-informed approach.
Per requirements for the grant, the sheriff’s office’s role in the task force will go beyond traditional online and vice-style operations and involve more investigative methods.
Unbound will assist survivors with recovering from traumatic experiences and assist with their needs.
Brazos County Sheriff Wayne Dicky says the calibration is needed to ensure all bases are covered in combating human trafficking.
“Collaboration is critical to success in prosecuting these cases so while law enforcement has the experience and skills to identify these crimes we also need partners to provide services to the victims and work closely with prosecutors for successful prosecutions,” Dicky said.
If the grant is approved, Sheriff Dicky hopes to have this task force operational by 2023.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.
You can also call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline at 1-888-373-7888: Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking.
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