October 24, 2023 -- Thomson Reuters (NYSE/TSX: TRI), a global content and technology company, and the City of Houston today announced a partnership to launch a new global online resource center to combat human trafficking. Thomson Reuters will take stewardship of the City of Houston’s world-class anti-trafficking toolkits and make them readily accessible online to cities and other public authorities. Through these step-by-step guides, municipal authorities can quickly mobilize anti-trafficking campaigns which may otherwise take years of planning, as well as saving them money and other public resources. City of Houston’s anti-trafficking resources have already been leveraged by 18 cities and 11 nations.
An increase in the numbers of individuals at risk, stretched public resources and more sophisticated criminal networks have contributed to a rise in human trafficking, which has a tragic impact on communities across the U.S. and internationally. In 2022 there were an estimated 19,000 reports of child sex trafficking in the U.S made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Public awareness campaigns play a critical role in tackling human trafficking and the City of Houston’s campaigns are recognized as models of best practice.
Under the leadership of Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence documented their approach to creating anti-trafficking campaigns. Through these insights they developed a suite of tools and resources for local, national and international organizations and agencies to launch anti-trafficking responses that can be readily contextualized to any community. This helps to create a network of cities running anti-trafficking campaigns, driving a year-round response to help meet the challenges that trafficking poses.
The new Thomson Reuters global online human trafficking resource center will house the toolkits online, with a commitment to keeping the materials up to date and making additional resources available. There are a total of nine toolkits, and the first available on the resource center are:
Upcoming toolkits include how to manage trafficking risks during emergency disasters and tackling trafficking in illicit massage businesses. The toolkits will be available online at:
“Over the last eight years, our efforts have focused on ensuring that the locally accomplished mitigating work was shared nationally and globally through immersion programs that welcomed US municipalities and foreign governments to Houston, as well as international forums where we were invited to showcase our model," said Mayor Turner. "Because of these strategic actions, we successfully replicated aspects of this model in 18 US cities and 11 nations. I am confident that the impactful work and anti-trafficking legacy will continue.”
“We are proud to continue the legacy of Mayor Turner where, under his leadership, the City of Houston became a model for mobilizing municipalities to counter human trafficking,” said Heather C. Fischer, Senior Advisor for Human Rights Crimes at Thomson Reuters. “We are committed to continuing to expand the eco-system of information, technology and subject matter expertise we offer to support efforts to identify human trafficking networks, facilitate prosecution, and help victims and survivors”.
City of Houston
The Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence, led by Minal Patel Davis, is the first municipal-level office of its kind in the United States focused on local policy-driven efforts against human trafficking and domestic violence. Our office believes in reflective governance and works in collaboration with a broad array of stakeholders and public private partnerships to pursue additional avenues for economic security, gender equity dialogues, addressing service deserts and shifting cultural attitudes to end human trafficking and domestic violence.
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