What to look for when going out.
San Antonio- Did you know Texas is in the top three states with the highest rates of human trafficking according to Humantraffickingsearch.org. The website defines human trafficking as the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. Traffickers will target young boys and girls for a chance of selling them on the market. Large events such as carnivals and sports events are attractive to traffickers because children are easily lost in the crowd and can be kidnapped without anyone noticing. But human traffickers also look at runaways as well.
Humantraffickingsearch.org reports that “Houston is home to almost 6,000 runaway minors and an estimated 1-to-3 runaways are lured in sex trafficking within 48 hours of running away from home.”
Our Lady of the Lake University student Stacy Gonzalez, a Houston native, reacted to this information and said “I can’t believe that. That’s horrible to think about because you see the flyers in Walmart about missing kids but you really don’t pay attention to them.”
Sharedhope.org provided some signs a person is being trafficked such as
- Bruises/burn marks
- Sexual behavior
- No personal belongings
- Withdrawn, depressed, distracted or checked out
- Less appropriately dressed than before
Much more can be found on their website. When celebrating Fiesta this April or other events make sure you keep track of any small child you bring along, and be wary with people you meet during the event. If you suspect any human trafficking is going on be sure to call the authorities immediately and report strange activity.