FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/05/2012
Frullo Hears Testimony in First Joint Human Trafficking Committee Hearing
AUSTIN- The Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking had its first hearing Monday in Austin to discuss the implementation of legislation related to human trafficking and comprehensive strategies needed to eradicate the exploitation and selling of human beings in the state of Texas.
The committee was created during the 82nd legislative session to study ways the Legislature can work with law enforcement and human rights groups across the state to combat the selling of human beings. They heard testimony from members of several state agencies today regarding the procedures and services available to victims of human trafficking and the effectiveness of penalties currently assessed for the conviction of a human trafficking-related crime.
"Having a dialogue with those on the front lines of combating human trafficking is an important step in defeating this horrendous crime," said State Representative John Frullo (Lubbock). "Today we heard which policies are having a positive impact and what we can do better."
Members of the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force presented ideas regarding best practices for public/private partnerships to provide services to and the long-range need for safe houses and shelters for victims of human trafficking.
"This is a dark and ugly crime," Frullo said, "and at the end of the day, we must send a message to those engaged in exploitation that we will not stand for this in Texas."
The committee will continue to meet throughout the interim before presenting the findings of its study to the 83rd Legislature in January 2013.
Contact: Robin MacEwan