Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force, an anti-human trafficking working group in Texas
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Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council Meeting

Human Trafficking Prevention Task force newsletter, Part One

Happy January!

It is great to see so many human trafficking awareness efforts across the state this month!  We were disappointed that we had to change our taskforce meeting to a virtual one, but were so glad to see all many of you from across the state as we renewed our commitment to the strategic plan and working groups announced their progress and goals for 2022.  Below is our latest newsletter.  It is in a new format, to better accommodate email, and we hope you will enjoy seeing all the great work your fellow taskforce members are doing.

We hope you will join us on Wednesday, January 26 at 11 a.m. for our strategic plan webinar.  This will be a chance for the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council to tell you what our government agencies have been doing to prevent, protect, prosecute, provide support, and partner in human trafficking efforts. 

(continued after the video break)

Human Trafficking Prevention Task force meeting

Here’s some real talk… I had some technical difficulties getting the stream started so the beginning’s missing. 

They recorded the video so hopefully I’ll be able to replace this with the final one when it’s released. 

Human Trafficking Prevention Task force newsletter, Part Two

Happy January!

It is great to see so many human trafficking awareness efforts across the state this month!  We were disappointed that we had to change our taskforce meeting to a virtual one, but were so glad to see all many of you from across the state as we renewed our commitment to the strategic plan and working groups announced their progress and goals for 2022.  Below is our latest newsletter.  It is in a new format, to better accommodate email, and we hope you will enjoy seeing all the great work your fellow taskforce members are doing.

We hope you will join us on Wednesday, January 26 at 11 a.m. for our strategic plan webinar.  This will be a chance for the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council to tell you what our government agencies have been doing to prevent, protect, prosecute, provide support, and partner in human trafficking efforts.  The link is here: https://tinyurl.com/2022HTWebinar.

Please mark these dates on your calendar:

  • March 31: April newsletter submissions due
  • April 6: Task Force virtual meeting with a Discussion of Diversion Programs
  • April 27: Human Trafficking Survivor Recognition Event in Austin
  • RSVP to these here: [email protected]texas.gov

We are excited to see all we will accomplish together in 2022.

Sincerely,
Cara Foos Pierce, Division Chief
Human Trafficking Division

DPS map

Curbing Buyer Demand

On September 1, 2021, one of the Task Force’s key legislative recommendations intended to curb demand for commercial sex buy making sex buying of an adult went into effect.  Law enforcement embraced this new law.  In just 4 short months, DPS recorded 730 felony arrests for Solicitation of Prostitution, and the numbers continue to climb in 2022. 


art contest

High School Art Contest to Raise Awareness

This year the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force is launching its first ever High School Art Contest to raise awareness among teenagers across the state of Texas.  The Contest runs through the month of January with a final deadline for applications set for January 31st.  Please help us to continue to promote this event through the end of the month.  We look forward to reviewing entries and plan to reveal and highlight submissions in the month of April.  We’ve attached our Art Contest Flyer and Application for your convenience.  For more information please email: [email protected]texas.gov


Commercial Signage

New Commercial Signs, designed in consultation with the Coordinating Council, are now available for download on the OAG website.  Human Trafficking signs compliant with the Texas Administrative Code §54.80 must be posted by the following entities:

(1) an entity permitted or licensed under Chapter 25, 26, 28, 32, 69, or 71, Alcoholic Beverage Code, other than an entity holding a food and beverage certificate; (2) a cosmetology facility; (3) a hospital; (4) a massage establishment;(5) a massage school; (6) a sexually oriented business; (7) a tattoo studio; (8) a transportation hub; or (9) a state park and other recreational site under the Parks and Wildlife Department’s jurisdiction.

See recommendations on our website for placement and for more information.


Commercial Lodging Resources

The law passed last session requiring all Texas hotel employees to receive at least 20 minutes of human trafficking training each year is now in effect.  The OAG hotel training video: Human Trafficking:  How Hotel Employees Can Make A Difference is now on the OAG website. Additional Information on Commercial Lodging training as well as printable hotel-specific signage can be found on the website. Questions or requests regarding hotel training and signage can be directed to: [email protected]texas.gov.


Not Alone Exhibit

Starting this month, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is offering a traveling version of its groundbreaking exhibition Not Alone: Working Together in the Fight Against Human Trafficking. The traveling version of the exhibition is available for booking to schools, museums, libraries, and community centers across Texas free of charge for a display period of up to five weeks at each venue. Contact TSHM.[email protected]TheStoryofTexas.com for additional information and date availability.


PPOCIn honor of January Awareness Month, the Office of the Attorney General hosted students from Kingswood, Texas who participate in Human Trafficking Prevention efforts through a Youth Action Board Program created by Project Protect Our Children.  The students arrived in conjunction with an 18-Wheeler wrapped in Human Trafficking Awareness Information and were greeted at the State Capitol by various Executive Members of the OAG.  The students received a formal welcome from the First Assistant to the Attorney General, Brent Webster, and were provided the opportunity to present, before various members of the OAG, their history, experience, and efforts as Youth Action Board Members.


HHSC Donation fund:

HHSC recently launched the new Stop Human Trafficking Donation Account to raise funds for youth survivors of human trafficking. House Bill 2633, 87th Session, authorizes the creation of the account to provide grants to facilities committed to the recovery and protection of vulnerable children and adolescents impacted by human trafficking. Establishment of the fund is a joint effort by HHSC, the Department of Information Resources, the Texas Comptroller’s Office and the Department of Family and Protective Services.


Specialty License Plate Contest:

HHSC is holding a “Stop Human Trafficking” Specialty License Plate Design Contest! The contest will run from the end of January through April 30, 2022. Visit the Texas Human Trafficking Resource Center website for details. Once a winner is selected, the license plate will be offered for sale by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Proceeds will go to the Stop Human Trafficking Donation Account. HHSC encourages you to participate by entering the contest and sharing the contest information with others.   


HHSC training

HHSC HEART training: 

HHSC recently released a free online training course on human trafficking awareness and prevention for health care providers. The course is called, “HEART” which stands for “Hearing, Evaluating, Activating, Resourcing and Training” and teaches health care providers how to recognize indicators of trafficking, support the well-being of at-risk individuals, and understand how trauma impacts overall health outcomes. Get the training at texashhs.org/HEART-training.

Read PBJ Learning’s online review here.


Buyer Accountability Roundtable – January 25th

Join Children at Risk on January 25th at 10:00-10:45AM CST for a roundtable discussion of the importance of accountability for buyers in the commercial sex market! This virtual event will feature organizations and law enforcement agencies who have been at the forefront of the buyer accountability movement and share a social media toolkit for individuals and organizations to raise awareness of the issue.  

Facebook Page for VIEWING ONLY: https://www.facebook.com/childrenatrisk


During Trafficking Awareness Month this January 2022, the Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP) at Refugee Services of Texas (RST) has conducted outreach with local youth to help youth and their families identify red flags of trafficking, interviewed with local media to educate the public on the reality of trafficking in Texas, and is also looking inward– STEP is conducting training for RST employees, to assist in further educating RST staff in identifying Human Trafficking red flags among RST clients as a whole. STEP also participated in the Blue Sand Project, to demonstrate Texas’ determination to end trafficking. Looking forward, STEP is excited to be creating new materials to assist with outreach, prevention, and safety planning, in addition to hosting classes in the coming months in jewelry making, other creative pursuits, and financial literacy classes aimed toward youth.

 

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