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Human trafficking advocates meet with lawmakers amid Texas legislative session

A rally supporting anti-human trafficking legislation unfolded on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol.

AUSTIN, Texas — Tuesday, Jan. 22 has been designated as Human Trafficking Advocacy Day for the 86th Texas Legislative Session. 

Advocacy and support groups of human trafficking victims are calling on Texas leaders to discuss their plans to implement tougher laws to end modern-day slavery.

Led by advocacy group Children at Risk and cosponsors, a rally unfolded in the morning at the Texas State Capitol. Children at Risk works to end child trafficking and to ensure child victims are recognized as victims, and not criminals. 

The National Center for Missing Children estimates that one in five endangered runaways will become victims of sex trafficking. Texas alone has more than 10,000 reported runaways each year. 

RELATED: Why Austin’s child sex traffickers aren’t getting jail time

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According to the University of Texas Slavery Mapping Project, there are more than 78,000 youth and minors who are victims of sex trafficking in the state. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center reports that Texas accounts for almost 10 percent of all the calls made to their hotline, second behind California. 

If you ever suspect that you see human trafficking, you are urged to call the national hotline at 1-888-3737-888. Tips can be made anonymously.

MORE: Refuge for child sex trafficking survivors is set to open soon

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