HEADLINES: Trafficking

button_icon_trafficking_headlinesIn response to a growing human trafficking industry, Ohio legislators passed the Safe Harbor Bill last year. The new law strengthens penalties for those convicted of human trafficking and also provides greater victim resources. The law also allows sex trafficking victims to expunge arrests for prostitution from their records. Ohio had been ranked low for their anti-trafficking efforts, but are now ranked in the the top tier by Polaris Project. Some activists, however, believe that Ohio should enact stronger protections for child sex trafficking victims.  [News Messenger]

The two-year-old Safe Harbor Act goes into effect in Minnesota this year, under which sexually exploited children will be treated as victims instead of criminals, but it still far from decided where these children should be placed if not in prison. The Department of Public Safety has recommended that “the Legislature allocate nearly $10 million to help build a comprehensive system of housing and care for some of the most vulnerable juveniles.”  The cost will be difficult for the state to swallow, but several key legislators have vowed to make it a priority. [Minnesota Public Radio]

According to a new report conducted by the Abell Foundation, sex trafficking is a rapidly growing issue in Baltimore. Sex trafficking cases have been found across the city and across Maryland, but according to Melissa Snow, director of human trafficking at Turnaround, “we know that for every young girl we find, for every young boy, there are potentially another hundred.”  The NGO is currently working on legislation that would allow them to take money from convicted traffickers and give it back to their victims. [CBS Baltimore]

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