Fake auction draws attention to human trafficking

A fake auction was held in downtown Houston to draw attention to human trafficking.

September 14, 2010 4:45:44 PM PDT
Authorities held a fake slave auction in downtown Houston Tuesday morning to draw attention to the problem of human trafficking. It is believed that more than 14,000 foreign nationals are brought into the U.S. to be used as slave labor every year. Americans citizens are also forced into slavery, particularly children and young girls. A multitude of agencies are involved in catching traffickers, including the FBI, IRS, Harris County Sheriff's Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Roughly 20 percent of human trafficking rescues in the U.S. happen in Texas, but authorities often have trouble getting victims to testify against traffickers.

"We cannot prosecute without rescuing victims and we cannot rescue victims without prosecuting the traffickers. This is what we spend every day dealing with," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Gallagher.

In Houston, there is an increased focus on rehabilitating the victims of human traffickers.