Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor's Office Presents 1 Year Progress Report on its Plan to Fight Human Trafficking

May 9, 2017 -- Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner released the 1 year local impact report of the City’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategic Plan which was released one year ago on May 9th, 2016. The Strategic Plan framed the City’s anti-human trafficking response using 5 objectives and 91 tactics.

“I am pleased to report that 59 out of the 91 plan tactics have been completed. The progress report released today highlights the significant progress we have made and the areas that demand more work. 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," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "By mobilizing city departments and leveraging the capabilities of partner organizations, we are making Houston safer for all Houstonians and likely reducing victimization in our City.”

The five components to Houston’s 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 can be easily implemented elsewhere 

Presentation highlights included known impact of the massage establishment ordinance revised in 2015, media campaign outcomes, direct outreach efforts, scale and reach of our approach and a summary of expenditures. Davis reported that there is 13% decrease in “open” illicit massage establishments and a 38% increase in “closed” illicit massage establishments. Which means less and less illicit parlors are advertising sex for sale and more illicit parlors are not advertising sex for sale. The Watch for Traffick media campaign generated over 74 million media impression and miles driven increasing calls to the national trafficking tip hotline by 80% and trafficking cases confirmed by 46% when compared to the same period in the prior year.

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.

The City of Houston offers a one-stop shop for information about human trafficking, its full plan, accompanying checklist and impact report on its website at www.humantraffickinghouston.org.

For the presentation, go to Newsroom, City Council.