From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
June 22, 2012
Contact: Lee Nichols, 512-463-0126

Committee to Research Services for Human Trafficking Survivors

(Austin) -- On Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 10 a.m., State Senator Leticia Van de Putte and State Representative Senfronia Thompson will co-chair a hearing of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking in Senator Van de Putte's home city of San Antonio. The meeting will be held at the Alamo Area Council of Governments, 8700 Tesoro Dr., in the board room.

The purpose of the hearing will be to review the following interim charges in preparation for the upcoming 83rd Legislative Session:

  1. Study the services available for victims of human trafficking provided by federal, state, and local agencies and non-governmental organizations, including the long-range need for safe houses and shelters and the best practices for public/private partnerships providing services to victims.

  2. Review procedures and services available for youth that have been identified as sex trafficking victims, including analysis of the appropriate criminal penalties associated with prostitution.

The committee will hear from a variety of agencies and nonprofit organizations committed to fighting this modern-day slavery, which strikes both U.S. citizens and immigrants alike and often involves children and young people forced into prostitution.

"If we fail to provide assistance to survivors of Human Trafficking, it's like victimizing them twice," said co-chair Rep. Senfronia Thompson. "We must always stay alert and vigilant to any signs of a person falling to this heinous crime. It is our duty, the public, to take part in protecting the innocent from these monstrous predators."

"Our previous legislative efforts have justifiably focused on prosecution of those who buy and sell humans," said co-chair Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. "With this hearing, we now turn our focus on helping survivors of this seedy, vile crime that robs human dignity and exploits vulnerable victims."