Since February 1, 2018, owners of cosmetology businesses are required to hang signs that offer resources for victims of human trafficking. This is an effort to end human trafficking by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). These signs are in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese and include a number to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Businesses could face a fine for not following the law and hanging this sign.
What is Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is essentially a modern-day form of slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to gain some type of labor or commercial sex act. TDLR has aligned its efforts with the Governor’s and Attorney General’s initiatives to end human trafficking in Texas. Salons and cosmetology schools across Texas are required to display the sign with information on available services and assistance to victims. Having the sign posted plays a big part in awareness and starting conversations.
Recognizing Human Trafficking Victims
Victims cannot immediately take action themselves, so it’s important for cosmetologists to spot cues and notice when something isn’t right. Cosmetologists can learn information during a service because that can be a time when the victim can confide in someone during a private conversation.
Human Trafficking Program for Cosmetologists.
At Cosmo Training, a one-hour training program is provided on recognizing victims of human trafficking and methods for assisting them. Training is also required for those renewing their license. If any signs are recognized, it’s important to report suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities. For more information and resources on TDLR’s efforts to stop human trafficking, visit their site on combating human trafficking.
At this time, the statistics on human trafficking state wide, or even nationally, are not known. However, in 2018 there were over 455 cases reported for human trafficking and approximately 847 calls made using the hotline posted on signs in Texas. The signs are spreading the word in an effort to combat human trafficking in Texas.