HEADLINES: Trafficking

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Social media has emerged as a top tool for traffickers to find their victims.  Traffickers will lure their victims into seemingly innocuous meetings, and then force girls as young as 12 into the sex trade.   Law enforcement officials are now “more often seeking search warrants to access social media on computers and cellphones,” but trafficking remains a difficult crime to prosecute and enumerate. [Columbus Dispatch]

Wyoming is the only state in America that does not have any anti-trafficking legislation.  “There is ample evidence that human trafficking occurs in Wyoming,” as in every state in the union, and Wyoming’s lack of legislation will make it continually vulnerable to trafficking activities.  Democratic Rep. Cathy  Connolly has proposed HB 133, which would be the state’s first anti-trafficking law if passed. [Casper Star-Tribune]

In California, Democratic Assemblyman Chris Holden “has introduced legislation to allow law enforcement to use wiretapping in their efforts to combat human trafficking.”  Holden stressed the need for more sophisticated technological responses to trafficking as the industry has grown increasingly sophisticated itself.  Similar laws have passed in Texas, Maryland, and Illinois.  [Pasadena Sun]

As awareness of Human trafficking rises, there has been a push for state legislatures nationwide to strengthen anti-trafficking laws and vacate criminal records of victims.  Only seven states have enacted laws where victims can vacate convictions of crimes they were forced to commit. The Obama administration announced a greater focus on human trafficking last fall, but advocates continue to push for stronger legislation on both the federal and state level. [ABC News]

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