The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1121 in 2007, which required the Office of the Attorney General of Texas (OAG) to issue a report regarding the laws on human trafficking. In response to House Bill 1121, in 2008 the OAG published the first report on human trafficking in the state, titled The Texas Response to Human Trafficking. The report focused on how Texas laws impact trafficking prosecutions, investigations, and service provisions for victims. It subsequently recommended the creation of a statewide multi-agency human trafficking task force.
In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature passed House Bill 4009, formally creating the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force (Task Force) to address the growing crisis of human trafficking in the state. The 81st Texas Legislature designated the OAG as the presiding officer of the Task Force. Containing more than fifty member organizations, including state agencies, local law enforcement agencies, district attorney’s offices, and non-governmental organizations, the Task Force has resulted in an expanded network of local and regional efforts focused on educating the public to recognize human trafficking, identifying victims and directing them to services, and ensuring traffickers are effectively investigated and prosecuted.
The Task Force serves as a collaborative multidisciplinary body aimed at coordinating anti-human trafficking efforts across local, state, and federal levels. It is a communication hub, drawing together the state and regional coalitions and providing direction, consistent messaging, and sharing of best practices. The Task Force is required under Texas Government Code § 402.035 to collect data, provide training, report to the Legislature, and develop legislative recommendations that will enhance the state’s efforts to address the crime of human trafficking.