My Take: Combating Human Trafficking in Fort Worth and Beyond
Earlier this week I announced a $3.3 million grant for the University of North Texas Health Science Center to combat human trafficking.
Earlier this week I was honored to announce that the University of North Texas Health Science Center has been awarded a $3.3 million grant from the State Department to help combat human trafficking. With this funding, U.N.T. will help establish a D.N.A. database of parents and family members of missing or abducted children in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. This database will allow us to positively identify children who have been trafficked and safely return them to their families.
The U.N.T. Health Science Center already runs the premier human identification lab in the United States. As such, they are uniquely qualified to lead this effort, which will be vital in the continuing struggle to combat human trafficking from Central America. In fact, the center has already been involved in many high-profile cases including the Amanda Knox trial and helping to identify the victims of John Wayne Gacy.
As I’ve said before, no community in America is immune to the scourge of human trafficking, including our corner of North Texas. Sadly, the Dallas-Fort Worth area has the second-highest number of cases in Texas, and the problem is only getting worse: last year, there was a 35% spike in human trafficking cases compared to the previous year.
While no single piece of legislation will end human trafficking, Congress can act – and we have. Just this past year, the House has passed 16 bills to provide greater support for trafficking victims and additional resources for law enforcement to enable them to go after traffickers. We are resolved to act to stop this tragedy here in America and around the world.
We can all play a part in combating human trafficking and protecting the most vulnerable among us. It is my hope that with the right resources, we can end this scourge once and for all.
Member of Congress