I am a student at Texas A& M University Kingsville working toward my bachelor’s degree in social work. I am working on bringing awareness of human trafficking right here in the Rio Grande Valley.
On Jan. 29, the district attorney’s office and the Rio Grande Valley Anti Human Trafficking Task force wanted to pass a proclamation to declare January as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Human trafficking is the exploitation of people using force, fraud or coercion for the purposes of commercial sex, forced labor or domestic servitude. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Texas ranks in second in the number of reported human trafficking cases. In 2018, Texas reported 455 cases, second only to California with 760 reported cases.
The Rio Grande Valley needs more social programs and advocacy groups for women, men and children who fall prey to human trafficking. We must start by acknowledging that human trafficking is happening right here in our own backyard.
Bringing public awareness to an issue that most don’t want to talk about is key in helping create more social programs and advocacy groups for victims and their families. It can also help by providing training and education to be accessible to the people right here in Rio Grande Valley.
Let us join forces in making January National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Let us all raise up and put an end to human trafficking.
Abigail Ramos, Pharr