AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Attorney General Ken Paxton introduced a new comprehensive training video Thursday to educate and mobilize all Texans in the fight against human trafficking.
The nearly hour-long video was developed over the last year by the attorney general’s Human Trafficking/Transnational Organized Crime section.
“This remarkable training video represents my deep conviction to inform, educate and empower Texans to prevent, recognize and report human trafficking,” Attorney General Paxton said. “‘Be the One in the Fight Against Human Trafficking’ was created to enlist citizens from every walk of life to help Texas in its nationwide leadership role to combat and ultimately eliminate this horrific and dehumanizing crime.”
Texas is responsible for the nation’s second highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, and recent research indicates that at any given time there are more than 300,000 victims of human trafficking in the state, the Texas Attorney General’s Office explained in a news release.
Paxton announced his office is providing the human trafficking training video to all Texas state agencies, with the potential of reaching 315,000 state employees. The video is mandatory viewing for the 4,000 employees of the attorney general’s office.
“I am challenging my fellow state agency heads to follow suit,” he said. Attorney General Paxton applauded the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for being the first state agency to use the video in the training of all 8,000 of its front-line caseworkers.
“Be the One in the Fight Against Human Trafficking” shares the compelling and often deeply emotional stories of human trafficking from the perspective of survivors, experts, law enforcement, and good Samaritans, including a Texan who helped authorities shut down a major human trafficking operation in his own neighborhood of The Woodlands.
Launched in January 2016, Attorney General Paxton’s HTTOC section has assisted or consulted on dozens of cases, such as the arrest of the CEO of Backpage.com, whose online “adult” ads were linked to sex trafficking of women and children.
It also partners with Truckers Against Trafficking and the Texas Trucking Association on an innovative public-private program to put more eyes and ears on the road to catch human trafficking.
Since its inception, HTTOC has provided human trafficking awareness training to more than 15,000 people across the state of Texas.