More than 300,000 Texans are victimized at any given time, including 79,000 youth
AUSTIN – As part of a statewide effort to raise awareness,
increase vigilance and report signs of human trafficking, the Texas
Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Office of the
Governor, law enforcement and industry partners, is launching its “On
the Road to End Human Trafficking” initiative.
“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that knows no boundaries and,
sadly, affects hundreds of thousands of women, children and men across
our state and around the world,” said TxDOT Executive Director James
Bass. “We are proud to work with the Governor’s Commission for Women and
other partners to bring an end to this modern-day slavery.”
Similar to a neighborhood watch program, the initiative encourages
everyone to know, watch for and report signs of trafficking. According
to University of Texas research, more than 300,000 people are trafficked
in Texas at any given time, including 79,000 youth victims. These
innocent human beings are horrifically abused by being forced into
slavery, either in the form of hard labor or sex/prostitution.
To raise public awareness and help eradicate this criminal activity,
TxDOT is educating its employees as well as travelers. For employees, a
wallet card along with an information sheet to keep in TxDOT vehicles
provide details on signs to look for and steps to take to report
trafficking. Posters and restroom stall signs also will be displayed in
TxDOT’s Texas Travel Information Centers and Safety Rest Areas across
the state to provide critical information to victims of human
trafficking on how to reach out for help. The public is encouraged to
use a toll-free, 24/7 confidential phone number, (888) 373-7888, to
report suspected trafficking; victims are encouraged to call 911.
TxDOT’s human trafficking materials are available for others to download
and use at www.txdot.gov.
By taking part in this initiative to eradicate human trafficking,
TxDOT is living up to a core agency value – the well-being, safety and
quality of life for Texans and all travelers.