A burst of activity among state legislatures to target human trafficking has ushered in dozens of laws to step up criminal penalties against traffickers and offer new help to victims.
Some states have introduced measurers that criminalize human trafficking specifically for the first time. Advocates say the efforts al that lawmakers are gaining a fuller appreciation of the scope of human trafficking.
So far this year, more than 40 bills have been enacted and roughly introduced. That compares with just eight bills adopted across the country inaccording to the Polaris Project, an anti-trafficking group based in Washington.
Victims have included U. Washington state, which has been at the forefront of the issue, expanded its efforts this year amid fears that the Winter Olympics in nearby Vancouver, B. Among other things, new legislation ensured that hotline posters were displayed at rest stops throughout the state. Laws also were passed this year in Vermont and Oklahoma, among other states, and they take a range of approaches.
The D. Council passed a wide-ranging bill in June that criminalizes labor and sex trafficking. The law allows police to seize the assets of traffickers and includes more legal support for victims.
A third party who benefits from trafficking can also be prosecuted. The new law also requires authorities to collect statistics to get a better understanding of the problem.
Virginia has set up a commission to look at sex and labor trafficking in the state, with a report expected by January. The state adopted legislation in March that allowed abduction charges against anyone who used force, intimidation or deception to compel another person to perform work. This year, a new Virginia law allows vehicles used for trafficking to be confiscated.
Adam P. Ebbin Dwho sponsored one of the new laws. One woman in Virginia said she had come to the United States from her native Angola to become a domestic worker because of the promise of medical treatment for a long-term illness.
Once here, she found herself working as a housebound slave for as much as 20 hours a day.
The medical attention she was promised never arrived. Her captors would not allow her to leave the house alone, even chaperoning her to the grocery store, she said.
Unable to speak English, she was trapped. A driver working for her employer told her she was not the first. The woman said she cried every day during her incarceration, sometimes searching the house for pills she could use to kill herself.
Only a chance encounter with a woman at a store who spoke her native language, and the intervention of a church group, led to her rescue. Given the volume of new legislation, the NCSL will formulate a policy statement on trafficking for the first time at its annual summit, to be held this month. The statement will allow the bipartisan group to work more closely with the federal government on the issue.
A ificant rise in calls to the national human trafficking hotline, run by the Polaris Project since Decembersuggests there is also a higher recognition of the problem among the public. Advocates said the next step is to translate the laws into convictions.
So far, even in Washington, prosecutions remain relatively rare. Statistics documenting the problem are vague and vary widely.
The government estimates that 14, to 17, victims of trafficking are brought to the United States each year. A study funded by the Justice Department found that almostchildren fall into a category of trafficking victims because they are at risk of sexual exploitation. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, Texas Monthly has a terrific piece on trafficking by Mimi Swartz, told largely through a Thai woman who was brought to the U. I think the article is very good at capturing the psychology of these women. They may have been promised a job in a restaurant, but they arrive without knowing the language, without any legal status….
He tells you that this is where you will work to pay off your debt. When you protest, he beats you, starves you, or keeps you awake for days on end.
Then, just to make himself clear, he holds up a picture of your son or your parents or your sister and tears it in half. At that point, your predicament becomes very clear.
You do not speak or read the language. You do not have a cent to your name. You have no idea where you are in this vast country, and you have no way of finding out because no one lets you go anywhere alone.
What do you do? Most likely, you do what you are told. But even though many of the women enter the sex industry unwillingly, over time many of them stay in it somewhat voluntarily.
Those girls are typically younger than the foreign women, sometimes just 13 or 14 years old. And the threats and coercion and violence directed at the runaways are sometimes particularly horrendous. In any case, read the Texas Monthly article and post your thoughts.
Conchita Sarnoff. Others competitors such as geebo. The various times I contacted Craigslist, no one was available for comment.
The Craigslist protest was co-sponsored by 75 leading human rights and anti-trafficking organizations. In that same article, Craigslist allegedly provided services to the Gambino crime family on charges, among others, of selling sexual services of girls between years of age.
Child sex trafficking in the United States is fueled by the demand for prostitution along with impunity for the buyers and at times traffickers. According to Dr. The site serves over twenty billion views per month, ranking thirty-third overall among web sites worldwide and seventh overall among web sites in the United States.
With over eighty million new classified advertisements each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over two million new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. Even after stern Congressional pushback, Craigslist continues to create a sex trafficking advertisement thereby setting an industry trend and disregard for basic human rights.
Although it is an enormous goal to achieve, the alternative is to continue to advertise the sale of sexual exploitation, prostitution, and child sex trafficking in America. As one of the leading classified services, generating an abundant revenue stream that can justify a social responsible agenda, Craigslist should be leading the march.
Savage Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, July 19, ; A03 A burst of activity among state legislatures to target human trafficking has ushered in dozens of laws to step up criminal penalties against traffickers and offer new help to victims. Related Posts From Nicholas D. All rights reserved.