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TDLR Helps Combat Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is the exploitation of men, women, and children for labor or sex using force, fraud, or coercion. Labor trafficking and exploitation can happen in any industry.
To report suspected human trafficking, contact the National Hotline for Human Trafficking at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). If the situation is an emergency or you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911 and alert the authorities. You should also file a complaint if you suspect a TDLR-licensed business may be participating in human trafficking.
TDLR employees who routinely interact with licensees receive training on recognizing signs of potential trafficking. Several industries regulated by TDLR, including nail salons, hair salons and massage establishments, have a known nexus with human trafficking. Because TDLR employees inspect these and other worksites, they can often be the first ally to have contact with potential human trafficking victims. Language barriers, emotional manipulation and intensive monitoring can make it difficult for trafficking victims to reach out for help.
TDLR compliance and enforcement staff work with local law enforcement throughout Texas, the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council, and the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force to identify potential human trafficking in the agency’s regulated industries.
- TDLR inspectors perform risk-based, unscheduled inspections at licensed massage establishments at least once every two years. During the inspection, inspectors check individual and facility licenses in addition to ensuring the licensees are complying with sanitation and record-keeping requirements.
- All massage therapists, establishment owners and massage school owners undergo a national fingerprint-based criminal history check. Previous convictions, nolo contendere or guilty pleas or deferred adjudications for sexual or human trafficking offenses can keep an applicant or license holder from receiving or renewing a license. All licensed massage therapists must attach their photo to the front of their license.
- All massage establishments, including schools, must display a TDLR-approved sign in their place of business that contains information on how to report suspected human trafficking.
- Massage therapists must complete human trafficking prevention training every two years to renew their license.
- A state law passed in 2023 allows TDLR’s executive director to issue an emergency order halting the operation of any massage establishment if law enforcement or TDLR believes human trafficking is occurring at the establishment.
Barbering & Cosmetology
- TDLR inspectors perform risk-based unscheduled inspections at barbering and cosmetology establishments at least once every two to four years. During the inspection, inspectors check individual and facility licenses in addition to ensuring the licensees are complying with sanitation requirements.
- All barbering and cosmetology establishments, including schools, must display a TDLR-approved sign in their place of business that contains information on how to identify and report suspected human trafficking.
- It’s important to note that cosmetologists and manicurists may have a rare opportunity to interact with sex trafficking victims as traffickers want trafficking victims to receive services that enhance their physical appearance.
- Cosmetologists can choose to take a human trafficking prevention continuing education course every two years when renewing their license; barbers will be required to take continuing education beginning in 2025 and will also have this option.
Medical & Health Professions
- Certain Texas health care practitioners who provide direct patient care must complete an approved human trafficking prevention training course before renewing their license. You can find more information on our human trafficking prevention training page for health care practitioners.
How You Can Help Us Fight Human Trafficking
Educate Yourself About Human Trafficking:
- Office of the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking page
- Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team (CSTT)
- Texas Statistics, Resources and Events
- National Human Trafficking Hotline
- S. Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign
- Join Texas Businesses Against Trafficking
- Texas Department of Transportation: Prevent Human Trafficking
- Children at Risk
- Additional Information
- Post these signs