HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Do you have any ideas that would help end human trafficking? What a Houston non-profit is proposing sounds simple enough, but they also believe it will work. It’s as simple as knowing how supply and demand works.
You see, right now in Texas there are 80,000 adults and children trafficked for sex, according to the group Children At Risk. The non-profit now has a new campaign. It’s big but basic. Their plan is to end demand and in turn stop supply.
So what does someone who would buy sex look like?
“They’re the guy next door and not necessarily the creepy guy next door,” explains President and CEO of Children at Risk Bob Sanborn, and Sanborn should know. His non-profit has spent years studying and trying to eliminate human trafficking.
”To engage in supporting human trafficking is just dead wrong,” adds Sanborn.
Children At Risk is announcing to its law-making, victims advocate and police partners a new plan to attack trafficking. The campaign is simple, without demand there is no need to stock supply.
”So we need to start focusing all of our resources on the buyers. Traffickers are very well insulated and they can be hard to get,” explains Children At Risk Senior Staff Attorney Jamey Caruthers.
Children at Risk is now speaking with buyers of sex trafficking victims, finding them online and even in church.
“These are the next guy in the pew. These are the men of Houston. It’s important for the majority of men who aren’t those guys to really begin to help change the culture,” says Sanborn.
According to Children at Risk a third of Houston men surveyed “can envision paying for sex”.
”As a man you begin to think this is an easy thing. It’s not a tough step going from strip clubs to buying girls. We need to let people know that is wrong,” Sanborn adds.
He also says most prostitutes were forced into it as children and are human trafficking victims. So he says paying a prostitute is participating in human trafficking.
“That person, more than likely, is being beaten, abused by a pimp who is taking all of the proceeds,” explains Caruthers.
Children At Risk also plans to fight to increase legal penalties for buyers. The non-profit has gotten dozens of bills passed in an effort to protect human trafficking victims and to try to stop the problem.
According to Children at Risk, most trafficked children are foster kids and previously sexually abused kids.