Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has given a one-year update on the city strategic plan to combat human trafficking.
The plan addressed the city’s effort through five objectives and 91 tactics.
“I am pleased to report that 59 out of the 91 plan tactics have been complete," Turner said in his progress report. update. "We are proud to say that rather than a hub for trafficking activity, we are now largely recognized across the country as a leader for innovative solutions."
This is the city's ongoing five-point plan:
--Adopt new ordinances and departmental policies, where necessary.
--Change public perception.
--Enhance links to social and legal services for victims.
--Implement joint initiatives developed by the mayor’s anti-trafficking task force.
--Develop a comprehensive municipal model that could be adopted by other cities.
The city reports a 13 percent drop in open illicit massage businesses and 38 percent increase in closed illicit massage establishments -- meaning fewer illicit parlors are advertising sex for sale and more illicit parlors are not advertising sex for sale.
Also, the "Watch for Traffick" media campaign generated 74 million media impression -- increasing calls to the national trafficking tip hotline by 80 percent and trafficking cases confirmed by 46 percent.
In Texas, there were 2,939 confirmed cases of human trafficking between December 2007 and December 2016; 1,006 of those cases originated in Houston. In 2016 alone, there were 670 confirmed cases of trafficking in Texas, 213 of which were in Houston, according to the National Trafficking Tip Hotline.