(NewsNation Now) — More than 300,000 people are victims of some sort of human trafficking each year in the state of Texas.
A 2016 human trafficking map done by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that in the Lone Star State, there are 79,000 minors sex trafficked, and about 234,000 workers who are victims of labor trafficking, each year.
This is larger than the entire population of Boise, Idaho.
Human trafficking, as defined by the United Nations, is the recruitment, transportation, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud and deception.
As of 2008, more than 38% of all calls to the Human Trafficking Resource Center originated from Texas.
Worldwide, according to the U.N., nearly 25 million people are trafficked, including in the United States.
During fiscal year 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained 1,469 shipments and seized 57 shipments containing nearly $500 million in merchandise that was linked to forced labor abroad. This is a nearly 900 percent increase from the value of goods detained in fiscal year 2020.
Altogether, traffickers make an estimated $600 million a year off victims exploited by forced labor.
In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security established the Center for Countering Human Trafficking, with the aim of coordinating and integrating the department’s counter-trafficking efforts, according to its website.