State of the State 2023 – Human Trafficking - presented by Brody Burks, Assistant Texas Attorney General, Austin TX
TX Attorney General (TXAG) does not have “original jurisdiction”. Must follow or be brought in by another entity. Few county entities have specialized expertise in Human Trafficking (HT).

The TXAG Human Trafficking group has significant resources that smaller cities/counties do not possess. e.g. investigative unit, specialized attorneys, federal counterparts, large HT law library, chairs the TX HT Coordinating Council

TXAG office works mainly on the law enforcement prosecution and demand reduction side of the HT spectrum.

Traffickers obtain victims by making false promises of safety, income, and/or love. They maintain control over victims through emotional and physical abuse and manipulation.
  • Victims can be trafficked by family members or people that they know. Not uncommon.
  • Online/Social Media solicitation has dwarfed other forms of solicitation for a decade.
  • 98% of US teens have a smartphone. Half say they are online “almost constantly”
  • 83% of TXAG 2020 active sex trafficking cases involved Social Media/Online solicitation.
  • Civil remedies and tools are many times more effective, expedient and less costly than criminal, e.g. using Landlord engagement programs, Civil HT lawsuits, & Deceptive trade practices.
  • Labor trafficking is most severe in the Restaurant and Agriculture sectors. Difficult to get evidence since transactions are cash. Many victims don’t realize they are being trafficked. Many times there is no complainant.
TXAG works closely with Texas legislators to keep HT statues current and relevant

• SB1527 addressed more than a half dozen HT issues
• Signed by the Governor on 5/19/23
• SB 129 elevated child pornography charges to higher Felonies and enhanced others
• Other bills addressed HT education for Ride Share drivers, family notifications, etc.

YouTube: Street Grace series:

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