Thomson Reuters and the City of Houston Partner to Combat Human Trafficking with Online Resource Center
Thomson Reuters (NYSE/TSX: TRI), a global content and technology company, has joined hands with the City of Houston to unveil a new global online resource center aimed at combating human trafficking. This initiative will see Thomson Reuters taking stewardship of the City of Houston’s esteemed anti-trafficking toolkits, making them readily accessible online for cities and public authorities worldwide. These step-by-step guides will enable municipal authorities to swiftly mobilize anti-trafficking campaigns, saving them time and valuable public resources. Notably, the City of Houston’s anti-trafficking resources have already been employed by 18 cities and 11 nations.
The rise in individuals at risk, strained public resources, and the increasing sophistication of criminal networks have contributed to the surge in human trafficking, which has had devastating consequences on communities in the United States and around the globe. In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received an estimated 19,000 reports of child sex trafficking in the United States.
Public awareness campaigns are pivotal in the fight against human trafficking, and the City of Houston’s campaigns are considered exemplary models. Under the leadership of Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence has documented their approach to creating anti-trafficking campaigns. Utilizing these insights, they have developed a suite of tools and resources that local, national, and international organizations and agencies can use to launch anti-trafficking initiatives tailored to their communities. This fosters a network of cities running anti-trafficking campaigns, ensuring a year-round response to the challenges posed by trafficking.
The new Thomson Reuters global online human trafficking resource center will host the toolkits online, with a commitment to keeping the materials updated and adding more resources. There are a total of nine toolkits, and the initial ones available on the resource center are:
- Large Scale Public Events Toolkit: These tools are especially relevant during large sporting events, which are prime opportunities for traffickers due to an influx of visitors and temporary workers. Topics covered include how to vet volunteers and engage sectors like restaurants and transport companies to identify potential victims.
- Watch for Traffick Media Campaign Toolkit: Public awareness and education are essential in spotting trafficking. This toolkit offers guidance on raising awareness about human trafficking through ready-made advertising materials for television, radio, billboards, buses, and taxis.
- Anti-Luring Social Media Awareness Campaign Toolkit: This toolkit provides 24 pre-made social media posts targeting youth aged 13-22 and caregivers aged 35-55, helping to prevent luring and exploitation.
Upcoming toolkits include how to manage trafficking risks during emergency disasters and tackling trafficking in illicit massage businesses. The toolkits will be available online at:
“Over the last eight years, our efforts have focused on ensuring that the locally accomplished mitigating work was shared nationally and globally through immersion programs that welcomed US municipalities and foreign governments to Houston, as well as international forums where we were invited to showcase our model,” said Mayor Turner. “Because of these strategic actions, we successfully replicated aspects of this model in 18 US cities and 11 nations. I am confident that the impactful work and anti-trafficking legacy will continue.”
“We are proud to continue the legacy of Mayor Turner where, under his leadership, the City of Houston became a model for mobilizing municipalities to counter human trafficking,” said Heather C. Fischer, Senior Advisor for Human Rights Crimes at Thomson Reuters. “We are committed to continuing to expand the eco-system of information, technology and subject matter expertise we offer to support efforts to identify human trafficking networks, facilitate prosecution, and help victims and survivors”.