A recent spate of news and developments related to human trafficking and law enforcement have again turned the spotlight on the menace of human trafficking - one of the most important human rights causes of our time. Human trafficking is the second most lucrative crime in the world, second only to drug trafficking.

As per the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, over 20 million people are currently victims of human trafficking around the world. The majority of whom end up being used as sex slaves.

 

In 2016, there were 7,572 human trafficking cases reported in the United States, drastically up from previous years. And human trafficking is more rabid in Florida, New York and Texas with 550 cases reported in Florida alone last year. Texas, one of the largest states in the country is a major hub for human trafficking and the problem is particularly severe in Houston.

But now the stakes have gone up, in part due to strengthened sex-trafficking laws and increased penalties. Traffickers now face 20 plus years in jail and are charged both federally and locally with kidnapping and racketeering. The heightened risks have led to unintended consequences.

Pimps are increasingly getting girls do illegal activities: Carjacking, carrying guns and drugs, robbing men who come for sex and so on. Forcing the girls into these lessens the risk of traffickers as they are victims and are likely to get off with less severe penalties. They accomplish this by encouraging the girls to take to drugs. This help them stay awake, work longer and to addict them to a habit they have to work for.

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