THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton
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Buyers and Sellers in Human Trafficking

There is no one particular look to a trafficker. Traffickers are people who are willing to treat other people like objects or commodities that they can buy, sell or exploit for their own benefit. They can be:

  • family, relatives
  • peers
  • international third party recruiters
  • unscrupulous employers
  • organized crime syndicates, cartels or gangs
  • strip club owners/managers
  • opportunistic criminals
  • intimate partners
  • neighbors and friends
  • sex buyers who pay for children under the age of 18 or adults who are being forced to prostitute

When it comes to children and trafficking for sex, trafficking is Texas citizens selling Texas children for sex to other Texas citizens. We are the buyers and the sellers and our children are the victims.

Children Have Special Protections

A child under the age of 18 is a victim of sex trafficking if they are being prostituted by someone other than themselves, regardless of whether the child complied with the trafficker’s demands or actively resisted. Sex trafficking of children can be completed by any means and does not require the use of force fraud or coercion. Some of the more common methods of recruitment of children include:

  • a promise of romance, love, or acceptance,
  • offers of cash, luxury items, a place to stay, independence or a glamorous lifestyle,
  • the persuasion of a peer who is already involved,
  • meeting the immediate need of a child for food, clothing, shelter, or love
  • taking advantage of a vulnerability or a desperate situation
  • flattery, lies, manipulation, deception
  • exploiting an existing position of power
  • making an offer that is too good to be true
  • establishing relationship with false or tenuous connections