Human Trafficking Report by Kay Smith

AAUW Florida Public Policy Committee member Kay Smith has been researching human trafficking and recently attended a conference in Tampa. She has also identified and is tracking three bills related to the issue. We will be advocating for these bills during Lobby Days.

Here’s her report:

  1. Florida has the 3rd largest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline
  2. 1 in 3 girls have been sexually abused
  3. HT is a 152 billion dollar business globally
  4. Keys to combating HT
    1. Education/Prevention/Awareness
      1. Education is the key at an early age K-12
      2. Victims who have been abused early, by time they are teenagers it’s too late, they are usually recruiting victims
      3. Training is needed by law enforcement, business owners, healthcare providers, and general public in identifying and reporting HT
    2. Methodology needed to identify barriers to prevention
    3. Deterrents to HT via strong criminal penalties are needed
    4. Reintegration of victims via employment, healthcare, and life skills training is essential

In my review of the Bills, the below drew my attention because they addressed education/prevention or proposed deterrents via criminal penalties:

  1. HB 219  and its related bill CS/SB 370 – Mandatory minimum term of incarceration, as a deterrent
  2. HB 259 and its related bill SB 982 – Human Trafficking Education PreK-12
  3. HB 851 and its related bill SB 540 – Education and training for owner/operator of public lodging establishments

Author: Pat DeWitt

I am a retired institutional researcher, a musician and musicologist, and support AAUW as well as several environmental causes.

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