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Two U.S. States Take Small Steps in Combatting Human Trafficking

Two U.S. States Take Small Steps in Combatting Human Trafficking

Two U.S. states, at opposite ends of the nation, are taking steps this week to combat human trafficking. The effectiveness of their actions remains to be seen, of course, but these states should be praised for doing something about this problem.

 

In Alaska the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Anchorage Police Department are pooling resources. They announced this week the formation of the Innocence Lost Task Force. The task force will investigate and prosecute human traffickers. An emphasis will be placed on those who sexually exploit children.

 

In Florida legislation has been introduced to create a Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. The investigative organization would take a look at human trafficking and develop a strategy to be implemented by Oct. 1, 2010. The bill (SB 168) is being considered on Wednesday of this week.

 

Florida is also voting on another bill (SB 502), which would make it a third degree felony to smuggle an illegal immigrant into the state. Supporters hope the bill will make it more difficult for traffickers to bring victims into Florida.

 

Slavery persists in the 21st Century. It affects every state in the United States and costs both our tax money and national security. Human trafficking’s many issues include sexual slavery, forced labor, organized crime, government corruption, organ trafficking and migrant smuggling.

 

The efforts of Alaska and Florida may be small, but serve as an example to other states in the union. Every state should be combating criminal behavior related to trafficking, educating law enforcement and citizens, preventing interstate crime and providing assistance to victims.

 

What is your state doing to solve the problem of human trafficking?

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Photo courtesy of xandert http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/137921

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9:15AM PST on Feb 18, 2009

These are important moves, but they hardly address the issue at all. Slavery for sexual exploitation is but a small part of the overall human slave market; exploitation of children (as horrible as that is) is an even smaller part.

It's interesting that these moves are made in two of the states with the most reactionary governors in the country. It suggests that they are really trying to divert attention from the real ecomonic issues behind human trafficking. How sad.

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