Abbott Develops Human Trafficking Prevention Tool for Educators
Attorney General Greg Abbott announced the release of a Human Trafficking Prevention Manual that is targeted to teachers and other education professionals who will be facing an onslaught of potential victims in this coming school year. The release of the training manual comes during a meeting of the Texas Human Trafficking Task Force that is chaired by General Abbott.
The goal of the human trafficking prevention manual is to help Texas education officials recognize and report potential victims of human trafficking. “Human trafficking poses a very real threat to young Texans,” Abbott stated. “The Office of the Attorney General’s human trafficking prevention guide for education professionals is designed to equip Texas school personnel with the knowledge they need to understand human trafficking, recognize how it might look for children in their schools, realize why this pervasive crime must be reported, and take the proper steps when reporting suspected instances of the crime.”
The guide (attached below) is designed to provide education professionals with information to enhance their abilities to identify potential victims of this heinous crime. It will provide school personnel with information that will further the goals of the task force to identify, investigate and prosecute human traffickers including:
- The realities of human trafficking,
- Federal and state laws defining and prohibiting human trafficking,
- Human trafficking as a form of child abuse,
- Risk factors for school-aged children,
- Indicators of human trafficking,
- Approaches to responding to an outcry,
- Mechanism to report human trafficking, and
- Proactive approaches for school districts.
The issue of human trafficking has long been a hot button item for the Texas Attorney General’s office. In 2009, General Abbott was instrumental in the creation of the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force. Since it’s creation, the task force has conducted training programs for law enforcement agencies and other professional who might come in contact with potential trafficking victims. It also issues the “Texas Response to Human Trafficking” report prior to the opening of each session of the Texas Legislature. During the most recent session of the legislature, new laws were enacted that combined all of the recommendations presented in the 2012 task force report.
“Texas education professionals’ ability to recognize and report suspected human trafficking is essential to protecting the integrity of our classrooms and the innocence of our children,” Abbott concluded.