State Lawmakers Toughen-up on Human Trafficking Laws

By Scott Sarvay

State Lawmakers Toughen-up on Human Trafficking Laws

January 5, 2012 Updated Jan 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM EST

INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – State Senate Committee approves bill that would strengthen Indiana’s laws against human trafficking.

The Senate Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters Committee met Thursday morning and passed Senate Bill 4 unanimously moving the bill to the full Indiana Senate for consideration.

Lawmakers, law enforcement agencies and victim-advocacy groups are hoping the bill will be passed prior to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, because large sporting events are often associated with human trafficking.

Human trafficking can include the recruiting, harboring or selling of a person, especially a child, for purposes of prostitution, commercial sex acts, forced labor or involuntary servitude.

The bill would more effectively define the crime of "promotion of human trafficking of a minor" so that prosecutors could bring charges against traffickers even if no force was used, and for situations involving prostitution and involuntary servitude by minors.

According to the U.S. State Department's 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report, approximately 12.3 million adults and children are trafficked across international borders into forced labor and sexual exploitation worldwide.

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