Unbound Now Waco spreads awareness on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons Day

Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 8:21 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons Day, Unbound Now Waco wants to make sure Central Texans know human trafficking isn’t just an issue in other countries.

It’s one that takes place right here in Central Texas.

In pairs, high school volunteers with the Heart of Central Texas Sweethearts put up posters with information on human trafficking at every bus stop in Waco for the “Not In My City Campaign.”

“Some people are getting trafficked and they don’t even know it,” high school junior Ella Jean Olivarez said.

While high schoolers taped away adult volunteers with Unbound Now Waco handed out posters to local motels and hotels.

“We just want to get this information out there because the more we educate our community, the more people will know about it,” volunteer Pam Stone said.

House Bill 290 went into effect this year and requires all state of Texas hotels and motels to have posters with human trafficking prevention information.

Unbound Now Waco founder Susan Peters said this is because most human trafficking cases take place at hotels and motels.

“I mean most victims are victimized in a hotel room,” Peters said. “If they can see the posters and say why are so many people coming out of a hotel room, they can report that and many times a victim can be recovered.”

High school volunteers like Olivarez educated Central Texans through the campaign, but also learned some themselves.

“Human trafficking is not really talked about at school,” Olivarez said. “This campaign made us be more aware of our surroundings.”

Peters encourages parents to talk to their kids about the risks of trafficking on social media and the importance of always keeping accounts private.

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