In Texas, victims of human trafficking — the most common type of modern-day slavery — number more than 300,000.
That total includes nearly 79,000 minors who are victims of sex trafficking, according to a Texas Public Radio report.
St. Mary’s University will convene a panel on Tuesday, Feb. 27, to raise awareness about human trafficking in South Texas.
“San Antonio is a hub for human trafficking. Our proximity to the border on the one hand, and the junction of I-10 and I-35 in our city, on the other hand, open the state and the nation to this scourge,” said James Greenaway, Ph.D., Charles H. Miller Sr., M.D., Chair in Human Dignity, who is hosting the event.
“Too few of us know the scale of the problem, which is happening under our noses. The market thrives when no one is looking, when the public is unaware, when nobody is accountable,” Greenaway said.
The discussion, “Modern Day Slavery: Human Trafficking in Southwest Texas,” which is free and open to the public, will last from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the University Center, Conference Room A.
The panel will include Carol, a survivor of sex trafficking; Charles Paul, a domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) consultant; and Rosie Martinez, Victims Unit director in the Hidalgo County Office of the District Attorney.
The panel, which has been organized by Greenaway and the St. Mary’s Office of Civic Engagement, will discuss the realities of sex trafficking in San Antonio and South Texas including the cross-border dimension, the law as it pertains to traffickers and victims, and the human impact of contemporary slavery.
“The Office of Civic Engagement commits itself to create opportunities for justice and advocacy education in both San Antonio as well as our national and global communities,” said Tegan Nelson, Assistant Director of Civic Engagement. “Informed by our mission, we intentionally design experiences that will foster the formation of people in faith and educate leaders for the common good. We hope this event will allow students to learn more about how sex trafficking directly affects the San Antonio community, and grow in their understanding and discernment of how they can act in solidarity to work toward a more just and peaceful world.”
For additional information, please contact Greenaway at firstname.lastname@example.org.