AUSTIN (KXAN) — A statewide effort is underway to raise awareness and vigilance when it comes to human trafficking and transportation officials joined the fight.
The “On the Road to End Human Trafficking” initiative is a partnership between Governor Greg Abbott’s office, law enforcement agencies, and the Texas Department of Transportation.
“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,” TxDOT executive director, James Bass wrote in a press release. “We are proud to work with the Governor’s Commission for Women and other partners to bring an end to this modern-day slavery.”
More than 300,000 Texans are trafficked at any given time, including 79,000 children, officials wrote in the press release, citing research by the University of Texas at Austin.
TxDOT officials say the initiative is similar to a neighborhood watch program in that it encourages people to know, watch for and report signs of trafficking. The agency is hoping this initiative will remind travelers to keep their eyes open while on the road.
The public is encouraged to use a toll-free, 24-hour confidential phone number — (888) 373-7888 — to report suspected trafficking. Victims should call 911.