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“Signs point to drop in human trafficking in Houston” by Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle Reporter

Signs point to drop in human trafficking in Houston” by Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle Reporter

On May 9, 2017, Mayor Sylvester Turner released the One Year Local Impact Report, which details the progress Houston has made in implementing the Anti-Human Trafficking Strategic Plan. In a year’s time, 59 out of the 91 tactics first outlined in the plan have been completed. (Published on May 9, 2017)

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“Crackdown forces closures of illicit massage parlors, spas” by Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle Reporter

Crackdown forces closures of illicit massage parlors, spas” by Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle Reporter

Read about how the Houston Police Department is enforcing the City of Houston’s amended massage establishment ordinance. Passage of the amended ordinance was thanks to the support of HPD and Children at Risk. (Published on December 5, 2016)

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“Big assist needed to battle modern-day slavery,” op-ed by Mayor Sylvester Turner and U.S. Representative Ted Poe in Houston Chronicle

 
Mayor Sylvester Turner and U.S. Representative Ted Poe call for fighting human trafficking each day of the year. (Published on April 1st, 2016).

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“City strengthens law to crack down on illicit massage businesses” by Katherine Driessen, Houston Chronicle Reporter

Read about how the City of Houston made it easier for law enforcement to access illicit massage establishments. (Published on December 2nd, 2015).
 
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“Houston, Texas Case Study: Amending City’s Massage Ordinance” by Oriene Shin, Specialist at Polaris

 
 

Case Study Overview

During the second half of 2015, the End Trafficking in Illicit Massage Businesses Initiative focused on local government efforts and began to encourage cities to create or amend certain aspects of local massage establishment ordinances. Concurrently, Houston, Texas established the Special Advisor to the Mayor on Human Trafficking position, which propelled creation of phase 1 of the City’s first comprehensive strategic plan. One objective of the plan is to institutionalize the City’s response which includes making ordinance amendments as necessary. The Houston City Council unanimously passed amendments to the city’s massage establishment ordinance. The amendments expanded the definition of “massage establishments” to include those that advertise or offer a massage or other massage services and also provided law enforcement with greater discretion to enter and inspect massage establishments.

The case study focuses on Houston’s 2015 efforts around amending and strengthening the ability of the Houston Police Department’s Vice and Differential Response Team (HPD DRT) to  enforce city ordinance’s in order to build cases to shut down illicit massage businesses within the city limits of Houston.

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