In case you missed it. Here's a look at the anti human trafficking rally last week.
When Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) took to the steps Thursday morning, February 12, at the south end of the state Capitol, she addressed individuals who share a common concern; seeing the end of slavery once and for all in the United States.
She talked about human trafficking, which the State Department of Public Safety defines as the: "Recruitment, harboring, transporting or procurement of a person for labor or services for the purpose of involuntary servitude, slavery or forced commercial sex acts."
Nationally, Texas ranks second for calls into the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
The timing seemed almost coincidental, providential perhaps, because Human Trafficking Advocacy Day was held on the birthday of US President Abraham Lincoln, the great Emancipator.
"It is very clear to all of us here just how necessary it is that we all, at every level, work together to combat human trafficking," Thompson said. "I am looking forward to working with each and every one of you during this session so that we can do what is necessary, so that we can free people, we can end slavery and we can be sure that the Emancipation Proclamation that was issued by President Abraham Lincoln not for just the Black slaves, but for every person who was enslaved and is enslaved in this the United States of America."
Thompson co-chaired the Joint Interim Committee on Human Trafficking for the Texas House of Representatives during the 83rd legislative session. Almost a month to the day into the 84th, her stance to use legislation against trafficking was only helped with bipartisan support flanking her podium to the left and to the right.
We have the opportunity to be a part of the movement to end slavery. Those who were unable to attend Human Trafficking Advocacy Day, still have an important part to play in this new abolitionist movement.
"I am reminded of the words of a young rabbi," Pastor of First Baptist Church Palestine, Jay Abernathy said before delivering a benediction for state legislators at the end of the rally. Quoting the words of Isaiah, as retold through Jesus, "'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim freedom to prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' Might this session be one of practice for the year of the Lord's favor as we pray for God's guidance upon you."
Thursday February 18, Rep. Thompson filed H.B. 10, which makes provisions for law enforcement and trafficking victims at the recommendation of the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force.
Learn more about House Bill 188, which maintains the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Force, provides for law enforcement and makes statistical data about trafficking a priority.