Human Trafficking

combating domestic minor sex trafficking

CHILDREN AT RISK is committed to strengthening laws and policies on human trafficking and improving the response to children who have been commercially sexually exploited.

Center to End the Trafficking & Exploitation of Children (CETEC)

The Center to End the Trafficking and Exploitation of Children, the only center of its kind in Texas, was established to combat domestic minor sex trafficking. CETEC’s works to: educate the community through training, presentations, publications, media outreach and an annual summit; engage in legal research, study trafficking trends, and explore best practices; collaborate with organizations on the front lines to determine community needs; and provide resources for public officials, draft and support positive legislative change.

CHILDREN AT RISK’s Center to End the Trafficking & Exploitation of Children aims to improve public policies in order to

  • Prevent instances of human trafficking
  • Protect victims and support human trafficking survivors
  • Increase the prosecution of traffickers and buyers


CHILDREN AT RISK is proud to have worked beside lawmakers, the Secretary of State, and other allies to help launch a voluntary Human Trafficking Prevention Business Partnership Program. Corporations and private entities joining this program have a unique opportunity to help strengthen community awareness about human trafficking, reduce their exposure to liability, and improve their reputation for displaying corporate social responsibility. Companies which implement a zero tolerance policy with respect to human trafficking may submit an application to the Secretary of State and receive official state recognition.

Applications are available through the Secretary of State.


Houston is a leading hub for human trafficking and continued efforts are being made to reduce and assist the victims of these crimes. CHILDREN AT RISK leads educational presentations on human trafficking in Houston as well as an awareness bus tour where participants will learn to identify the red flags and potential signs of human trafficking in their community. Check the events calendar for upcoming tour dates.


Human trafficking is an illicit market that relies on basic economic principles of supply and demand. Until we end the demand for sex and labor trafficking, there will be those who supply minor victims. CETEC is working hard to change the culture of Texas regarding commercial sex. As a state and a people we must end the “boys will be boys” attitude towards commercial sexual exploitation and treat the purchasers of commercial sex as the predators they are. Demand fuels the problem and puts tax-free money in the pockets of pimps and traffickers. If there were no buyers, there would be no business.

The CEASE (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) Network is a collaboration of pioneering cities committed to innovating, testing, and sharing strategies to deter people from buying sex. CETEC coordinates CEASE Network teams in Houston and North Texas to create and execute strategies for reducing demand. These teams take a holistic approach and rely on the expertise and collaboration of survivors, law enforcement, service providers, researchers, public officials, corporate leaders, philanthropists, and others to address demand.



There are an estimated 200-400 illicit massage establishments operating in Houston. These establishments are engaging in human trafficking and prostitution. CETEC is collaborating with the Harris County Attorney’s Office to fight human trafficking through Project AWESOME (Attorneys Working to End Sexually-Oriented Massage Establishments). Project AWESOME allows civil attorneys to file suits against these establishments on behalf of the county.



The Human Trafficking Resource Database provides a directory of anti-trafficking resources across the state of Texas. The database was developed to enable the sharing of information between social service providers, law enforcement agencies, researchers, and other advocates and stakeholders. The database contains information available to the public, as well as information accessible only to members who have joined the database, including details on each organization’s anti-trafficking efforts and opportunities for partnership. Promising Practices distinguish organizations and help connect users with needed resources.

CETEC aims to educate the community on human trafficking and conducts presentations and trainings to a wide variety of audiences. From attorneys, first responders, school teachers and administrators, child welfare employees, and churches to recently released parolees, and potential buyers. The center teaches how human trafficking can touch the lives of anyone no matter their race, class, gender, nationality, or socio-economic status. Each year CETEC hosts a summit to educate different sectors of the community and bring together stakeholders to address pressing issues around human trafficking. Visit the events page for upcoming oppurtunities. 


  • Increase prevention education in schools with a focus on gender equality, bodily autonomy, and online safety
  • Increase buyer diversion and education program


  • Increase prosecution and penalities for sex buyers


  • Provide a Set Aside for victims of human trafficking to overturn convictions for prostitution and related non-violent crimes victims committed while trafficked
  • Treat prostituted individuals with a victim centered approach
  • Decrease criminal penalties for prostituted individuals and increase exit services
  • End prosecution of minors for prostitution and increase holistic services for child trafficking victims to include long term health care, housing assistance and job placement


Growing Up in Houston 2017-2018

Assessing the Quality of Life of Our Children

The Sex Trafficking Marketplace

Addressing Demand Through Legislation and Tactics

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