FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/04/2015
REP. TAN PARKER FILES LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Flower Mound Lawmaker Vows to Fight Back Against the Human Rights Issue of Our Time
(Flower Mound, Texas) Today Representative Tan Parker filed four bills designed to combat human trafficking in Texas. In presenting his legislation, Parker emphasized the need for the Legislature to address what is becoming a growing problem in Texas.
“Virtually everyone in Texas is touched in some way by this crime,” Parker stated. “We live in a state that accounts for more than 14% of all calls received by the national human trafficking resource center. The time has come for us to put our foot down and get even more serious about cracking down on this horrible crime that is a modern form of slavery.”
As filed, House Bill 2319 would address the demand side of human trafficking by raising the penalties facing those who would solicit prostitution. House Bill 2291 would increase the penalties facing persons with multiple convictions of possession of child pornography. In order to shed light on the plight of human trafficking victims and help them later in life, Rep. Parker also filed House Bill 2290 to designate January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month and House Bill 2286 to provide an avenue for victims to possibly overturn convictions of prostitution accrued if they were, in fact, a victim of human trafficking.
In Texas, more than 10,000 children run away from home each year and one-third of them end up victims of human trafficking. Most children are between the ages of 12 to 14 when they first become a human trafficking victim, and many are tragically dead within seven years. Yet despite this, as of January 2014 only 99 inmates were in a Texas correctional facility as result of a conviction for human trafficking related crimes.
In conclusion, Parker added, “We are going to attack this problem at both ends. First we are going to crack down on those who would take advantage of children, and then we are going to pave the way to get victims the help they need to recover, rebound and move on to productive lives.”
Serving in his 5th term in the Texas Legislature, Representative Parker is focusing his efforts on economic development, job creation, strengthening border security, promoting fiscally responsible government spending, providing a strong education system, enhancing public safety and protecting family values. Representative Parker is the current Chairman of the Investments and Financial Services Committee. He also serves on the Ways and Means Committee, the Redistricting Committee and the Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility.