Home » William D King: Lawmakers pass measures that would help sex trafficking victims

William D King: Lawmakers pass measures that would help sex trafficking victims

William D King

This article is about a bill that would allow women who are sex trafficking victims easier access to state benefits says, William D King. By MIKE STOBBE Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) – Lawmakers have voted to give Georgia’s estimated 4,000 sex trafficking victims easier access to state benefits such as counseling, housing, and job training.

The bill overwhelmingly approved by the Senate on Friday now heads to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for his consideration. The legislation would let minors who engage in prostitution qualify as crime victims and thus become eligible for assistance from the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Under current law, minors who engage in prostitution aren’t considered crime victims and thus can’t receive services from the state agency unless they formally petition a court to expunge their criminal records.

The bill would let a judge make that determination, but requires proof of having engaged in sex trafficking or prostitution before age 18. It also requires the minor to have completed any sentence imposed for prostitution.

To be eligible, minors must voluntarily provide information about their traffickers, with whom they’re encouraged to cooperate in criminal investigations. The legislation also gives health care providers permission to report suspected cases of sex trafficking without fear of liability or disciplinary action.

The bill also would create a state anti-sex-trafficking task force to identify gaps in services and recommend ways to expand outreach efforts. The panel would have representatives from the state attorney general’s office, several anti-sex trafficking groups, and others.

Laws regarding sex trafficking victims:  

Federal laws:  

The U.S. Congress passed a law in 2000 called the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which defined sex trafficking as a federal crime and offered temporary legal status to foreign victims who cooperate with law enforcement officials in prosecuting their captors. A second law passed in 2003 established the T visa, which allows people who have been trafficked to stay in the country and apply for a work permit says, William D King.

State laws:  

 Georgia law defines a minor as anyone under 18 who has been involved in prostitution. For a 15-year-old or younger, this would be considered child molestation and the person would be charged with a misdemeanor. These teens would not qualify for social services unless they petition a judge to expunge their records.

The Coalition against Human Trafficking is an organization that strives for safe communities in Georgia through the abolition of human trafficking and sexual servitude. This website provides information about sex trafficking in Georgia, how it affects our community, victim resources and ways to get involve explains William D King.  

New laws aim to curb human trafficking in Georgia

By Dave Williams and Alex Ruppenthal, The Telegraph ATLANTA (AP) — A package of state laws designed to curb the growing problem of human trafficking now awaits Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature after winning final passage through the General Assembly on Thursday.

The legislation unanimously passed by the Senate on Thursday now heads to Deal’s desk for his consideration. The measures would outlaw sex trafficking of minors, increase penalties for convicted pimps, provide greater legal recourse for victims and formally establish an anti-sex trafficking task force.

“It sends a strong message to the traffickers that it is not acceptable in the state of Georgia,” said Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, who sponsored the House bill. “And that message needs to be sent.”

Human trafficking is define as forcing someone into labor against his or her will. Is one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide. Authorities say they’re beginning to see an increase in arrests and prosecutions of human trafficking in Georgia. Though it remains largely hidden. The General Assembly has called human trafficking an epidemic. That is growing rapidly and changing as new technology makes it easier to find victims and commit crimes.

“We’re really trying to focus on the perpetrators”. Said GBI agent Steve Phan, who oversees operations for the agency’s anti-trafficking unit. Moreover, “We’re trying to get them off the street and get a conviction.”

The legislation creates a fund for agencies that care for victims of human trafficking. By requiring sex offenders to contribute $20 from each fine to the fund. It also provides immunity from prosecution for victims of sex trafficking who are arrest for crimes committing while being traffic.

The Senate version expands the definition of a minor. Making it easier to prosecute human traffickers and also pimping operations that include underage teens. For instance, someone was guilty of enticing a 16-year-old into prostitution. Could face a felony, up from a misdemeanor says William D King.

Rep. Rich Golick, the House sponsor of the legislation. Said he wants to make sure those who exploit young teens are punish severely enough. So they don’t consider it as easy money.

“It’s not just about putting them in jail and also throwing away the key anymore,” said Golick, R-Smyrna. “We want to make it feasible that these people aren’t going to do this again.”

Conclusion:

The article overall is unbias in terms of the information that is. It does not seem to take a strong stance in advocating against human trafficking. Or in favor of it. Which makes sense considering the measures would expand legal recourse for victims and increase penalties for pimps. The beginning paragraph mentions both sides (opposing views) of the sex trafficking argument. By stating that the legislation would likely help victims. But also provides information about how some people consider it a “lucrative” business. The article is specific about which states are affecting by human trafficking. And where investigations have conduct to illustrate that this problem exists in the United States, not just Georgia.