(CNN)Esperanza was waiting for her cousins outside her high school in Mexico one day, when a strange man drove up in a car, forced her inside with him and sped away. At that moment, Esperanza had in effect become a sex slave.
(CNN)Cuba, Kenya and Saudi Arabia are doing better at fighting human trafficking. Egypt, Ghana and Bulgaria are doing worse.
That’s according to the latest annual report from the U.S. State Department, which rates 188 countries on their efforts to stamp out trafficking in persons.
Secretary of State John Kerry says the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report aims to enlighten, energize and empower activists fighting the “human trafficking industry” across every continent.
The Senate unanimously passed legislation Wednesday to help the victims of human trafficking, ending a tortuous partisan standoff over abortion that also delayed confirmation of President Barack Obama’s attorney general nominee.
The vote was 99-0 to approve the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which expands law enforcement tools to target sex traffickers and creates a new fund to help victims. The House has passed similar legislation and the White House has voiced support.
“We have not fallen deaf to the cries of those who actually need our help, the victims of human trafficking,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the lead GOP sponsor. “This legislation will be instrumental in helping victims of sexual abuse and trafficking recover from a life in bondage.”
“This year’s Report places a special emphasis on human trafficking in the global marketplace. It highlights the hidden risks that workers may encounter when seeking employment and the steps that governments and businesses can take to prevent trafficking, including a demand for transparency in global supply chains.
“The bottom line is that this is no time for complacency. Right now, across the globe, victims of human trafficking are daring to imagine the possibility of escape, the chance for a life without fear, and the opportunity to earn a living wage.” – John F. Kerry, Secretary of State
Houston ranks No. 1 among U.S. cities thought to have the most victims of human trafficking. The rank comes from new numbers released on the total calls made to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center tip line. The crime is so under-reported that FBI agents say calls to a national tip line indicate the size and location of the problem.
Among states, Texas ranks second. Only California had more calls in 2013, according to the FBI.
The FBI, along with local and state law enforcement agencies and many elected officials kicked off a new campaign against human trafficking Tuesday morning at a press conference at Houston’s City Hall.
Katie Rhodes, former Ministry Relations Director of Hope Rising and our newest board member, has been able to continue her local advocacy work in her new position as Local Program Director at Forever Found.
Forever Found exists for the prevention, rescue, and restoration of child trafficking victims in Ventura County and recently began local programs including trafficked victim support, a survivor mentor program, training and education, and a law enforcement partnership.
Katie has continued to cultivate the relationships begun through Hope Rising and is one of the organizers of the Ventura County Coalition Against Human Trafficking–a collaboration of law enforcement, social service agencies, and nonprofits set to launch in January 2015. Recently, a new donor contributed $20,000 to Forever Found to start a fund dedicated to local law enforcement training and investigation of trafficking cases. Ventura Police Department will be the first partner agency and will collaborate with other members of the Coalition in finding and serving victims.
Advanced Human Trafficking Investigations – Upcoming Courses:
Location: Houston, TX
Hosted by: The Texas Department of Public Safety
Time: Registration 7:30 am; Training 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (lunch on your own)
For registration information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call
This course is designed for Law Enforcement Officers, Investigators, and Human Trafficking Task Force members who are assigned to investigate human trafficking cases through advanced intelligence collection, development and dissemination. Special emphasis is placed on investigation skill development and an enhanced case coordination and collaborative model with an understanding that the victim is the key focus of case coordination dynamics. Case studies graphically illustrate successful case management.
Texas Legislative Session: A Time for Children
Please join Children at Risk on Wednesday, November 5th, for CHILDREN AT RISK’s 84thlegislative briefing, 2015 Texas Legislative Session: A Time for Children. The briefing will include a discussion of upcoming legislative priorities among representatives from community advocates.
CONSUMED – Justice Summit 2014, Houston, TX » LINK
Join hundreds of justice warriors from around the state, the nation, and the world this
September and get equipped for the battle to end sex trafficking in our generation.
Hope Rising will have a table at this event.
September 20, 2014
Noon to 3 p.m.
September 15, 2014
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Faith & Freedom Week: Interfaith Anti-Human Trafficking Seder » LINK
Chapelwood United Methodist Church,
11140 Greenbay St, Houston, TX 77024 United States
September 6, 2014
May 6, 2014 (10:00am – 11:00am)
St. Austin Center, 2002 S Wayside Dr, Houston, TX 77023 (map)
HRRC will be hosting the second quarterly Coalition Meeting of the year. This meeting is for coalition members and interested community members. It is open to the public. There will be a 30-min Human Trafficking 101 proceeding the meeting for any members who have new staff or those who would like a brief refresher on an introduction to human trafficking.
May 2-4, 2014
Santa Cruz Mountains Conference Center
Apr 8 – 10, 2014
Co-Presented by Genesis Women’s Shelter and the Dallas Police Department
April 25, 2014
Time: 8:00am to 12:00pm
Location: The Museum of Tolerance, 9786 West