Harris County officials campaign to help combat sex trafficking

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HOUSTON, TX – Human sex trafficking: It’s considered modern day slavery, and it’s something our mayor and Harris County officials have fought hard to combat.

At a press conference Wednesday Mayor Annise Parker said, “I’m proud to stand here today with all of the partners in this community effort because it will take all of us in the community to make a difference in what is a world-wide problem.”

While we’ve been battling these crimes on a local level, many agree this needs Federal help.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said, “The cause of protecting our children is so important, it does cross all party lines, all philosophical lines, but we need tools.”

Those tools can be found in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. It’s proposed legislation by U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas.

He said the legislation “does bring addition resources to budget constrained governments.”

Those resources would include a domestic trafficking victim’s funding for state and local law enforcement to track down sex offenders, and increased penalties for those convicted of related crimes.

Cornyn said the funding would come from fines from those convicted on child porn, sexual exploitation and human trafficking and smuggling.

The legislation still has to be put to a vote. But despite the differences in Congress, we can all agree: Something has got to be done to protect these children.