SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
CARSON CITY – Nevada lawmakers are taking the lead in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery by ensuring that children exploited in the commercial sex trade receive critical social services and legal protections.
Today Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto joined Assembly Members John Hambrick, William Horne and Michael Sprinkle in a press conference to discuss critical legislation that each of them are carrying to fight human trafficking.
The Attorney General’s bill, AB67, establishes the crime of sex trafficking in Nevada, modernizes existing human trafficking statutes, makes victims eligible for state assistance and allows them to sue their traffickers.
Additional legislation will provide a “safe harbor” provision to treat sexually exploited children as victims not criminals, mandate posting of the NHTRC hotline, establish the new crime of Labor Servitude of a Minor and create a Human Trafficking Victim Bill of Rights.
“We all must address the scourge of human trafficking now,” said Hambrick, who is sponsoring the Safe Harbor legislation. “To do less will condemn countless young girls and boys to horrors that are beyond words.”
Following the press conference, anti-trafficking advocates, including Polaris Project, members of Nevadans for the Common Good and parents of trafficking victims and survivors in Nevada, participated in a lobby day urging Nevada legislators to vote for each of the pieces of legislation.
Human trafficking is a fast-growing criminal industry, with traffickers making billions in profits by using force, fraud or coercion to rob victims of their freedom, including U.S. citizens. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline (1-888-373-7888) has received more than 480 calls from Nevada, including 121 tips or crisis calls related to sex or labor trafficking. In 2012 alone, the NHTRC responded to 14 cases that involved minors and 41 cases that had high or moderate indicators of human trafficking.