Media Advisory
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2007
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

Senator Leticia Van de Putte to Speak at Human Trafficking Press Conference

(SAN ANTONIO, TX) -- On Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., Catholic Charities will hold a press conference, on combating human trafficking and aiding victims, to be held at the Central Library Auditorium, located at 600 Soledad.

The press conference will include an announcement of local efforts and initiatives against human trafficking by Catholic Charities, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, the Most Reverend Archbishop Gomez, DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement, TABC and other committed agencies in the South Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Slavery.

Texas is a major hub for human trafficking. Every year, thousands are forced into the labor or sex trade industry. In response to this crisis, Senator Van de Putte authored and sponsored new state legislation, which broadens and strengthens the definition of human trafficking, enhances the penalties for those victimizing children and mandates the posting of hotline numbers to help identify and rescue victims.

The US Department of Justice estimates that 14,500-17,500 persons are trafficked into the United States every year. With 25% of all certified victims in the nation, Texas is second only to California for trafficking cases. In fact, IH-10 has been identified as the main trafficking corridor in the US.

"I truly believe that we are not defenseless in the struggle to end the exploitation of children and vulnerable adults and that is why I took a stand for those who may not be able to stand up for themselves," said Van de Putte.