HOUSTON (FOX 26) - “There’s over 79,000 minor and youth victims of sex trafficking here in Texas,” said Emily Freeborn staff attorney for the non-profit group Children at Risk.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1 in 6 endangered runaways are likely sex trafficking victims.
“Traffickers are able to lure runaways within 48 hours of them being on the street,” Freeborn said.
Human trafficking is basically modern day slavery.
Traffickers use force, fraud or coercion to keep victims under their control.
“But when it comes to sex trafficking which is a subset to human trafficking anytime there is a minor involved any commercial sex act is sex trafficking,” said Freeborn.
Dozens of concerned residents boarded a bus Thursday night to see first-hand where human trafficking victims were forced to perform sex acts.
They were taken to massage parlors--some closed, others open for business.
“There’s not many people that are looking for a legitimate massage at 4 o’clock in the morning,” Freeborn said.
The tour included the now closed Las Palmas Cantina at 5618 Telephone Road.
That was the scene of the largest human trafficking bust in Houston.
“Domestic minors are the most at risk for human trafficking in the U.S.” said Freeborn.