By Susan Frederick and Jennifer Arguinzoni
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a featured plenary session speaker at NCSL's Legislative Summit, has spearheaded an effort to combat human trafficking in the United States Senate.
This legislation, S. 2599 the “Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act” (formally introduced as 1733) creates incentives for states to pass safe harbor legislation. Safe harbor legislation protects victims of human trafficking by treating them as victims rather than criminals. Almost 30 states have enacted safe harbor-related legislation since 2005.
NCSL was an integral part of crafting language that protected states’ rights while working to protect victims of human trafficking. NCSL advocated for the creation of incentives rather than penalties for states that pass safe harbor laws. As a result of NCSL’s efforts, S. 2599 rewards states that pass safe harbor laws by giving them preference on their local Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) applications.
NCSL also secured legislative language that requires the federal government to consult with states and localities when developing a national strategy to combat human trafficking. The legislation also creates a National Human Trafficking Hotline to assist trafficking victims in communicating with service providers.
NCSL appreciates Klobuchar’s leadership on this issue. Please join her for her discussion with Cindy McCain of the McCain Institute on International Leadership on combating and assisting victims of human trafficking at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 20, next month at the Legislative Summit.
For more information, please visit this informational page. You may also contact Susan Frederick or Jennifer Arguinzoni in NCSL’s Washington, D.C., office at 202-624-5400.
Jennifer Arguinzoni is an NCSL policy specialist and Susan Frederick is senior federal affairs counsel in NCSL's State-Federal Relations Division. Email Susan. Email Jennifer.