Human Trafficking

Todd Lappin, Flickr Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Crime statistics show human trafficking is on the rise, including here in the Ohio Valley region. Now some former victims of trafficking are raising awareness, and they've teamed up with some unlikely allies. Nicole Erwin, of the Ohio Valley ReSource, reports.

Ryland Barton, WFPL

study released this week by the University of Louisville finds that 40 percent of homeless youth in Louisville and southern Indiana have been victims of sex trafficking. 

KY Attorney General, via Twitter @kyoag

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is focusing attention on identifying and prosecuting those who take part in human trafficking. The attorney general joined industry and religious groups in Frankfort on Jan. 11 as part of the national Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says his office will ramp up efforts in 2017 to combat human trafficking. 

Free2Hope, Facebook

This Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will pump millions of dollars into the Louisville-area economy. But it will also bring an increase in the number of sexually exploited women and children.

http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/pubinfo/photo.htm

The Kentucky House unanimously passed two bills to combat sex trafficking and child pornography in the state.

One bill would prevent those charged with having sex with a child prostitute from claiming they thought the child was over 18. Democratic Representative Sannie Overly says the bill goes along with legislation working its way through the U.S. Congress that amends federal trafficking statutes in the same way.

Courtesy of Dr. Katherine Taken Smith

We begin a new series of reports called Racer Scholar Profiles, highlighting Murray State Faculty research, scholarly and creative activities across colleges and schools. Our first guest is Dr. Katherine Taken Smith, who teaches consumer behavior and promotions management in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business. She published an article on human trafficking and its connection with businesses, what corporations can do to eliminate human trafficking in their supply chains and how consumer behavior can put pressure on businesses to be proactive in curbing the demand for this modern form of slavery. 

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed a bill yesterday  allowing individuals forced into prostitution through human trafficking to have their records expunged.

wikimedia.com

A bill that would strengthen Kentucky's human trafficking laws has passed a Senate committee and appears ready to finally become law.

House Bill 3 is sponsored by state Rep. Sannie Overly, a Paris Democrat and the House majority caucus chair. It's considered so-called "safe harbor legislation," which would require treatment for victims of human trafficking instead of legal ramifications, such as prostitution or immigration charges.

After a few small changes in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill passed easily Thursday and heads to the Senate floor. The legislation has already passed the House.

Overly said years of work on the bill—plus changes to this year's bill to recruit past opponents—gives House Bill 3 a good chance to become law.

wikimedia.com

Kentucky may soon join a small but growing number of states enacting laws to protect juvenile victims of the sex trade.  House Bill 3 would restrict authorities' ability to charge minors with offenses related to prostitution and require minors suspected to be involved in prostitution receive social services. 

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