Human trafficking or modern day slavery is easy to say but very difficult to identify.
That's why tonight the city of Houston is "Shining a Light On Human Trafficking." The goal of this initiative is to
help identify and hopefully recluse victims but in order to do that you need to know what to look for, where to look,
and what to ask. "We ask that you help by bringing these victims out of the shadows" says Mayor Annise Parker
who started this initiative about a year ago.
Human Trafficking even victims she says could be in your community and tonight is the first step in battling the
issue by arming the public with information.
Maria Trujillo the director of the human trafficking task force that was created by Mayor Parker explain who there are three
steps towards joining the fight , number one is to "be informed."
"Two is to ask questions to identify them, ask questions like can you leave your job? do you owe a debt? do you have threats
against you or your family?? and three is to report to the appropriate authorities" Trujillo says.
Human Trafficking is a 32 billion dollar industry and like Sheriff Adrian Garcia says, someone is profiting at the cost of human
lives, some of them children, woman even men.
And that's why Matilda Rosas, a nanny who doesn't speak much English says, she wanted to share her story.
Rosas says, domestic workers often live in fear, some of them are abused not just physically but they'll go months
of working without pay.
That's another form of modern day slavery and many of the victims won't even know it because they're too young to understand.
"Statistically this means that at least 150 thousand children are lured in prostitution each year they find themselves many
of them to Houston" says Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. But Fox26 has learned, there's really no telling how many
young victims are living here right now. Many of them either end of aging out of the system, never come forward or continue
living the lifestyle but for those who never had a chance to make it out of the trade, a candle was lit for them too
as part of shining a light on human trafficking.