Today, Tuesday, June 2, is International Sex Workers Day. Many times jokes are made about this topic and people make light of it with jokes about prostitution or prostitutes. However, it's a very real world of abuse, addiction and, in many cases, slavery.

According to an unclassified document published by the Texas Department of Public Safety, sex trafficking is the fastest growing business of organized crime and the third largest criminal enterprise in the world.

"Child victims are a particular concern," according to the article, which adds that data from a recent study proves that the average age that girls become victims of sex trafficking is now 12 to 14 years of age.

In Texas, the targets range from juvenile runaways to illegal aliens. Ploys for entrapment include coercion, drugs, fraud and manipulation to lure these children and women into a life of abuse, addiction, poverty and illness, which includes physical and mental illness and instability.

Traffickers are increasing their use of social media to both lure victims and advertise their services and victims to their customers (i.e. predators). So parents, being active and involved with your children and what they are seeing and watching, as well as who they are talking to on social media is vitally important for their safety and well being.

Members of various gangs have also been reported to being heavily involved in the sex trafficking trade in Texas, which includes but are not limited to: Barrio Azteca, Black Gangster Disciples, Bloods, Crips, Mara Salvatrucha, Surenos and Tango Blast.

If you know or suspect that a child is a victim of predators or sexual trafficking, please contact the Central Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking.