Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott has proclaimed January 2018 as Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
A proclamation from the governor's office on Friday said Texas would not tolerate the heinous crime, and has its Child Sex Trafficking Team has implemented innovative practices to combat the inhumane practices.
"The concepts of freedom, justice and the pursuit of happiness are intricately woven into the fabric of American culture," the proclamation said. "We may find it hard to fathom that we live in a world where people are deprived of these rights, a world where people are trafficked for labor or bought and sold in the sex trade."
The declaration went on to say that the heinous crime of human trafficking is not confined to some remote country; it is happening right here, and even children have become commodities for the pleasure of sexual predators and the profit of traffickers.
"The state of Texas will not tolerate the inhumane practices carried out by coercive and manipulative criminals," the proclamation said. "We provide serious penalties for human traffickers, and we continuously look for ways to better serve the victims.
"Since the creation of the Child Sex Trafficking Team in my office, innovative and promising practices have been launched around the state," the proclamation said. "My team knows that a spirit of collaboration is critical in this endeavor, and I commend all those working toward a stronger and more coordinated response."
Abbott went on to thank the state's service providers, law enforcement officers and prosecutors for their dedication to combating this terrible crime.
"I also applaud the faith communities, businesses, foundations and other advocates who are stepping up to make a difference," the proclamation said. "I especially want to express my gratitude for the incredible survivors who are sharing their voices and their stories to help others; their grit and resilience is a testament to the Texas spirit and a constant inspiration to us all."