The 7 Worst States in the Fight Against Human Trafficking—2013 Edition
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Human trafficking tends to make Americans think of far-flung, developing countries. Unfortunately, children, women, and men are taken and forced into work against their will, all the time, right here.
The number of people trafficked in the United States is difficult to estimate, but the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says that there are approximately 100,000 children in the U.S. forced into sex trafficking every year. And many more thousands of adults are enslaved, as well.
A leading organization in the fight against modern slavery, Polaris Project has just released its 2013 ratings of the 50 U.S. states in terms of their preventative and punitive legislation against human trafficking.
Their scorecard is meant to be a catalyst for change, and it is. Polaris has helped pass 40 new laws in more than half the states in the U.S. Three of the worst states from last year—Arkansas, Montana, and Wyoming—greatly improved their scores this year. Senior policy counsel for Polaris, James Dold, says, “As a matter of fact, Arkansas was the most improved, followed by Wyoming. And those are states where Polaris Project worked quite closely with the Attorney General’s office, with legislators, and so we saw a tremendous amount of improvement to the legal infrastructure in those states, which is really cool.”
So, which states are at the back of the pack this year? Click through to see if your state is one that needs to make some big changes.
Friday August 16, 2013, 1:19 pm
That was surprising. Except for North Dakota which is struggling hard to be the fracking capital of the country and has experienced an explosion of industry related jobs, virtually all male jobs, and has few women given its lack of population in general. So those men making all that money and away from their families, what do they do for entertainment? Not much nice apparently. Still, the other states were surprising, not what I would have guessed at all. Not even South Dakota which doesn't really have anything anyone wants except to see Mount Rushmore maybe, and Wall Drug. The few cases in my state that come up periodically are the usual despicable men, and some women, luring children and then abusing and pimping them out. I don't think the penalties for trafficking, in general, are strong enough. Pimp activities, particularly when they involve minors ought be much stronger penalized than they are - they are virtually killing those children, robbing them of their childhoods and setting them up for a life time of pain, drug abuse and failure in the process. And, the johns, well, those are as low as the pimps in my opinion, disgusting excuses for human beings who ought be locked up as sex offenders, not fined for engaging in sex with a minor. Ugliest business in the world, trafficking in human beings. Right up there with genocide and murder. And the penalties ought match the crime - and the victims always treated as such, not as prostitutes but sexually abused and traumatized children, which is in truth what they are.
Friday August 16, 2013, 1:55 pm
I couldn't figure out how to pull up the rankings through the website this piece is linked to - in case anyone else has that problem I found it directly at the Polaris website:
I see that many states so many usually complain of are in the top ranking in the Polaris survey (i.e., among the best). The Deep South is well-represented among the best in the fight against human trafficking (with the overwhelming majority in the top tier) - and Texas is in the top tier (with several traditionally more "liberal" states lower down).
Friday August 16, 2013, 2:16 pm
Thanks Lindsey. The article's slide show focused on just the seven. The report, which includes noting improvements, etc. is also available directly from Polaris at:
Friday August 16, 2013, 2:18 pm
Kudos to the Polaris Project. More people need to get onboard with this ugly fight to end human trafficking.
Wherever it is. Stronger penalties would help. This really amounts to murder with children. Their innocence and souls are murdered by lewd obscenities forced upon them. It has to stop
Friday August 16, 2013, 2:20 pm
32 states are in the top group--these seven are in the bottom two groups. Those 11 states inbetween are AL, MI, WI, ID, IA, DC., ME, PA, RI, WV, and WY (these states have addressed 5 or 6 of the 10 categories used for ranking of laws enacted).
Friday August 16, 2013, 3:33 pm
Actually these States do not surprise me at all, they do a poor job with the minorities and never were very kind to the American Indians. I'm sure they feel that this doesn't bother the white people much so not a real lot of thought given to it.
There is a reason that many credit card companies set up in Delaware and South Dakota believers in little to no regulations and New Hampshire, is the live free or die State, and they mean every word of it. Just don't be on the dying end of it.
We have a system that links alerts on the road ways. You might see an alert about elderly people that are missing or Amber alerts for missing children. When possible car descriptions are on the alerts with a license number. It seems this part of the internal system might be working. Wow, Texas is not in failure column here.
Thanks J L, now how to get all states active and involved.
Friday August 16, 2013, 4:15 pm
You are welcome and I agree Kit and Dandelion. For a couple of those states it might have to happen to someone well-connected's child to get it priority. You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion or Kit because you have done so within the last day.
Friday August 16, 2013, 4:41 pm
Noted - couldn't pull up photo gallery for that one but will go to polaris site. Agree that there should be stronger penalties for everyone invlved on this nasty crime...and help for all the victims. Thank you.
Friday August 16, 2013, 11:09 pm
Signed the petition, human trafficking needs to stop, tried watching the movie "Eden" about a young lady who was kidnapped and forced into the sex trade, too disturbing to watch. just sick
Saturday August 17, 2013, 12:31 pm
I can't say I'm all that surprised since I've always considered these states behind the times when it comes to a myriad of issues. The question I have is what exactly to they plan to do (if anything) about rectifying their problems, this troubling one in particular?
Thanks JL A
Saturday August 17, 2013, 4:27 pm
You see with horror the articles on child marriage in the Middle East and wonder how despicable and low a human being can sink, then you read the above going on in our own country!!!! My God. Doing this to a child is the same as murdering him or her--something from which they will never recover. The scum of the earth making money from forcing a child into sex. I hope this scum will be duly cursed, for you couldn't sink any lower than that.
Saturday August 17, 2013, 5:43 pm
No "customers", no market, no money, no incentive. No laws and/or enforcement, money continues to flow. Occasionally a small victory rises above the dung heap, but is short-lived at best. Our own worst enemies as usual.
Saturday August 17, 2013, 9:17 pm
Could not pull up the website of states, but gladly signed petition. Where I live, last week in the news, they arrested 113 trafficers. I have hope this will end globally.
Thursday October 24, 2013, 10:40 am
Was a little surprised about Delaware, as it's right next to Maryland which was recently ranked as the best state for women by a nonpartisan ranking. Not too surprised about the other ones, unfortunately. Noted and thanks.