Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, was recently recognized by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Texas Regional Office with the M. Diane Allbaugh Texas Heroes for Children Award.
“As the national clearinghouse on issues relating to missing and exploited children, NCMEC relies on federal and state legislators to help us ensure our nation’s laws keep children safe from sexual exploitation, and particularly the horrific trafficking of children for sex,” said John Clark, NCMEC President & CEO. “These legislative efforts include ensuring strategic planning to prevent these crimes from occurring in the first place, and we applaud the work of Senator Nelson to ensure that the state of Texas is proactive in protecting children from being trafficked. We are proud to honor her commitment to the children of Texas by recognizing her as our annual Texas honoree.”
NCMEC was started in 1984 to provide a coordinated, national response to problems relating to missing and exploited children. The organization recognized Nelson for her work to protect endangered children, including efforts last session to address human trafficking, according to a news release from Nelson’s office. As chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Nelson led the effort to fund every agency request combat human trafficking — including a specialized gang and human trafficking unit at the Department of Public Safety, a surveillance unit for entities with state liquor licenses and a program that helps education employees at spas and beauty parlors to spot the signs of human trafficking. She also sponsored SB 72, which created the Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council and directed the development of a strategic plan.
“Human trafficking is a horrible crime that must be met with the full force of state government. We must relentlessly pursue these predators, put them behind bars and protect children who are being abused and exploited,” Nelson said. “I am grateful to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for this award and, more importantly, for its steadfast commitment to children.”