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Rep. Collier, Nicole

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State Representative Nicole Collier to present film and panel discussion on the rise of human trafficking in Fort Worth  print page

by: Rep. Collier, Nicole
04/13/2018

A police investigation of an east-side gang for human trafficking underscores its fast-growing rise as a criminal enterprise and violation of human rights in Fort Worth, and signals the urgent need for greater public awareness, recognition and reporting

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Tuesday, April 10, 2018

From 10 a.m. to noon, on Saturday, April 28, at the Tarrant County College-Trinity River campus, in the Energy Auditorium, on the 4th floor, state Representative Nicole Collier, HD 95, will present the film "Be The One In The Fight Against Human Trafficking." The public is invited to attend.

Following the film, Representative Collier will moderate a panel discussion with recognized human trafficking authorities who will share their insights as to what is fueling the trafficking increase, the types of individuals susceptible to human trafficking, what traffickers look for in their potential victims, and why Fort Worth is experiencing a rise in human trafficking cases. Guests at the event will also learn how they can look for the signs of a trafficking victim, and what they can do to help a person they suspect is being trafficked.

"The increase in human trafficking in Fort Worth should be a wake-up call to every parent with small children and young adult children, as well as our school officials, community and civic leaders," says Representative Collier.

"Texas is right behind California in human trafficking cases, and the Fort Worth/Dallas area follows Houston, as the No. 2 Texas city with the highest incidences of human trafficking. More alarming is The University of Texas at Austin's 2017 study that revealed the numbers of people victimized by human trafficking in Texas, totaled more than 300,000 individuals. Of that amount, almost 234,000 adults were victims of labor trafficking. This event will shed light on the problem in our area and help our community become more aware of the signs of someone being victimized and what they can do to help someone they believe is in trouble."

Panel guests will include Melissa Holman, assistant attorney general, Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime Section, Office of the Attorney General of Texas; Dr. Vanessa Bouché, assistant professor of political science at TCU; and Detective Matthews of the City of Fort Worth's Human Trafficking Unit.

In the 2017 Texas Legislature, Representative Collier authored human trafficking legislation, which went into effect on September 1, 2017. House Bill 29 included stiffer penalties for perpetrators who promoted trafficking. Under HB 29, offenders were also required to register for life. Moreover, the bill provided training for law enforcement officials and commercial drivers, who were, most likely, to see trafficking situations first hand. Additionally, HB 29 raised the age at which professionals in the healthcare industry, could report probable trafficking behavior, without violating patient confidentiality.

CONTACT: Lorri Kennedy

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