Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott released a new manual “The Human Trafficking Criminal Justice Manual” this past weekend. Developed in response to the growing problem of human trafficking in Texas. It is a needed tool that will equip the criminal justice system to investigate, arrest and prosecute traffickers in North Texas.
“The manual is a key tool for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, parole officers, social workers and others who are positioned to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable and the victimized. The criminal justice manual is one more step we are taking to fight back against the scourge of human trafficking.”
Attorney General Greg Abbott
Many times the criminal justice system does not understand the victim’s perspective involved in human trafficking. And although many new bills have been enacted in the Texas government their has been a disconnect with the practical and theoretic for the actual victims of human trafficking. As misconceptions and absence of training in human trafficking have caused a problem in confronting human trafficking in Texas. Plus the addition challenges involved with minors who have been exploited through sex trafficking. In which the girls that have been exploited face themselves criminal offence charges and a majority of the time end of in juvenile detention centers.
Human trafficking destroys a person’s dignity and strips away an individual’s humanity. Human traffickers hold men, women, and children against their will, and through force, fraud or coercion, make them work – many times in the sex industry – for little or no income. Severe and constant abuse – in some cases leading to death – and brain washing are used to destroy the captive’s self-worth and erode the value of human life. At its core, human trafficking reduces humans to property.
Exert from the Manual
The manual was released September 7, 2013 from the Attorney’s General office in Austin. It addresses 7 core areas essential to combate trafficking within the justice system.
- The realities of human trafficking.
- Utilizing a victim-centered approach for human trafficking investigations and Prosecutions
- Victim identification
- Federal and state human trafficking laws
- Approaches to interacting with human trafficking victims
- Creating response plans
- Identifying local human trafficking resources
Great strides have been made to help domestic minor victims but in Texas there is a long way to go until children are given the services and shelter needed for a holistic recovery. As long term shelter currently are not an option.
North Texas has many leaders in the anti-human trafficking movement and the North Texas Human Trafficking Task Force which addresses human trafficking thoughout Fort Worth and Dallas. As far as shelter for victims the key players right now are Mosaic Family Service in Dallas who provides services mostly to victims of international trafficking and Letot Detention Center that provides services to domestic minor sex trafficking victims. Two organizations that will open long term housing soon for domestic minor victims is Traffick911 and Refuge of Light, both located in Texas.