LBJ School Dean Robert Hutchings addresses problem of human trafficking on Comcast Newsmakers
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Robert Hutchings, Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, shared his thoughts on the global problem of human trafficking in an interview with Comcast Newsmakers airing on CNN Headline News and Comcast's Channel 1 On Demand under Get Local, Newsmakers during the month of August. The interview was done in advance of the 1st Annual International Human Trafficking Conference, spearheaded by the Honorable Senfronia Thompson, Texas House of Representatives, and slated to take place October 6-8, 2010 in Austin.
Together with UT’s School of Social work, the LBJ School will be cosponsoring the conference as well as developing a research and internship program to help in drafting new legislation. The LBJ School will also be collaborating with the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
"It’s a global problem and simultaneously, it’s a local problem,” said Hutchings. “The numbers are frightening. There an estimated 12 million people, mostly women and girls, enslaved around the world. Even in the United States it exists, and Texas, because it’s a border state, has a good share of this problem.”
The U.S. State Department estimates that 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year, and the Texas Office of the Attorney General estimates that one out of every five of them travels through Texas along Interstate 10.
According to Hutchings, in addition to raising awareness of the international problem of human trafficking, the goal of the International Human Trafficking Conference is to spur legislation and enforcement measures to curb human trafficking in Texas, at the national level, and internationally.
"It was 10 years ago that the first national legislation was passed and it was three years later that Texas passed its legislation,” said Hutchings. “Some states haven’t done so yet. Globally there are over 100 countries that have no legislation whatsoever.”