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On the Road to End Human Trafficking

Campañas y divulgación

The Texas Department of Transportation, in partnership with other state agencies, is On the Road to End Human Trafficking by raising awareness and encouraging individuals to report suspected instances of human trafficking.

Human trafficking

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, commercial sex acts, or slavery. However, when it comes to minors, no force, fraud, or coercion is required.

Human trafficking does not discriminate against ethnicity, gender, and age, nor does it take into consideration immigration, socioeconomic, or family status.

When a person uses force, fraud, or coercion to exploit the labor or services of another person.

Rest area video

According to the U.S. Department of State, there are certain types of forced labor that are widespread across Texas and across our nation:

Domestic servitude
This is a form of forced labor in which the trafficker requires a victim to perform work in a private residence. Foreign domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to language and cultural barriers, as well as a lack of community ties.

Child servitude video

Forced child labor
This describes forced labor activities in which traffickers compel children to work. Although some children may legally engage in certain forms of work, forcing or coercing children to work remains illegal. 

The sale of children, forced or compulsory child labor, and debt bondage and serfdom of children – continue to exist. Some indicators of forced labor of a child include situations in which the child appears to be in the custody of a non-family member and the child's work financially benefits someone outside the child's family; or the denial of food, rest, or schooling to a child who is working.

Med clinic video

When a person uses force, fraud, or coercion to pressure another person to engage in a commercial sex act or causes a child to engage in a commercial sex act.

Truck stop video

Human trafficking facts

Labor trafficking:

  • Living and working on site ​

  • Transported to and from work together by employer

  • Living with the employer, along with large groups of other employees​

  • Having few or no personal possessions​

  • Not in control of their own money, bank account, or identification documents​

  • Showing signs of poor hygiene, malnourishment, and/or fatigue​

  • Not allowed or able to speak for themselves, typically a third party may insist on being present and/or translating​

  • A lack of knowledge about where they are staying​

  • Fearful of authorities​

  • Don’t identify as victims of trafficking


Sex trafficking

  • Signs of substance abuse or addiction​

  • Kept in isolation  ​

  • Unexplained injuries​

  • Unable to make decisions without approval​

  • Branding, tattoos, or nail art indicating ownership​

  • Not free to come and go at will​

  • Working excessively long and/or unusual hours​

  • Consistently in possession of hotel key cards, prepaid VISA cards, multiple phones or large amounts of cash​

  • High security measures where the victims live/work


  • Texas consistently has the second highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline every year. Source: Office of the Texas Attorney General 
  • The most recent data available (2020) shows Texas had 987 reported cases of human trafficking.  Source: Polaris
  • Top industries for labor trafficking include: domestic work, construction, and hospitality. Source: Polaris
  • Texas has the second most reports of sex trafficking cases in the US. Source: Polaris
  • The number of reported human trafficking cases is the highest in the “Texas Triangle” – Houston, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth – metro areas. Source: University of Texas School of Social Work
  • The nation’s deadliest smuggling case on the U.S.-Mexico border happened on June 27, 2022, in San Antonio. ​Fifty-three people lost their lives. Source: Homeland Security

Report information

Report human trafficking

Call 911 for emergencies.

Victims, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.

Text "HELP" or "INFO" to 233733.

To report suspicious activity 24/7, contact iWatchTexas.


Awareness resources