Legal Strategies in the Fight to End Human Trafficking

Abstract

Human trafficking is a serious domestic problem in the United States, with U.S. citizens and permanent residents being trafficked within our own borders. Texas has responded aggressively to address the issue of human trafficking by passing some of the most progressive and comprehensive anti-trafficking laws in the country. The City of Houston has also taken significant action to combat human  trafficking. This Article describes the variety of legal approaches taken by Texas and Houston to address human trafficking, including: legislation aimed at increasing penalties for traffickers and purchasers of commercial sex while  decriminalizing victims, the use of nuisance laws to shut down sexually oriented businesses involved in human trafficking, immigration considerations to provide international victims legal status, criminal  and civil suits to obtain restitution for victims, the establishment of specialty courts for sex trafficking victims, and the creation of safe houses for the rehabilitation of child victims.