When you hear the word ‘trafficking’, you probably think of drug trafficking, but El Paso has become a hotbed for an even scarier type of trafficking – human trafficking.  This horrifying crime happens here, and as happens in so many cases, it involves under age girls being used for sex.

courtesy: bootlegeyes

The definition of human trafficking is “organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited (as by being forced into prostitution or involuntary labor).”  ‘Trafficking’ doesn’t necessarily mean being taken from one city to another, it could happen to someone in the city in which they live.

In October, four men were arrested and accused of forcing a teen girl into prostitution here in El Paso.  The men allegedly told the girl she could make some money by sitting in a hotel room on Yarbrough and letting men inside the room so that the men rob them.  The girl says it turned into her being forced to have sex with up to six men a day.

The El Paso Sheriff’s Office has put together a list of warning signs of human trafficking that include:

Someone who doesn’t speak for themselves;

An underage female dressed provocatively or in ‘sex industry’ clothing;

Someone who lives inside a business, like a nail salon, massage parlor, or restaurant buffet;

A large group of people living in a home but never leave unaccompanied, or appear to not be able to leave unaccompanied.

Those are just a few of the signs that human trafficking might be happening.  You can go onto the EPSO website to check out more signs, and how you can help someone out of the situation.  There is also a group that helps victims of human trafficking here in El Paso.

Please keep your eyes open to this type of situation.  There is nothing more frightening than the thought of a person being trapped in this kind of hell.  The road back for a child who has been exploited like this could be a long one.  Let's help make sure no one has to endure this abuse.