Since 2010, January has been recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month.
Each year, strides are being made to bring awareness to this modern-day form of slavery where youth and adult victims are controlled through force, fraud or coercion to exploit them for forced labor, sexual exploitation or both. Domestic minor sex trafficking occurs when children, under the age of 18, are commercially sexually exploited through prostitution, pornography and/or erotic entertainment.
Now considered a growing threat to the safety of children and teens, youth are being trafficked across the country and the DFW Metroplex. A University of Texas study estimates that as many as 79,000 Texas children are victims of human trafficking.
“There are hundres of missing kids out there at any given time in North Texas,” says Dennis Ozment, private investigator and founder of 4theONE, a non-profit dedicated to finding and recovering missing, exploited and trafficked teens.
By Sonia Duggan • [email protected]