HARRISBURG – Following passage out of the House Judiciary Committee last week, the full House of Representatives today passed a package of bills aimed at combatting the crime of human trafficking, announced Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
“The Judiciary Committee worked quickly last week to get these important bills before the full House in a timely manner,” said Kauffman. “Protecting the public is our No. 1 responsibility and with Pennsylvania ranked 10th in the nation in terms of individuals being trafficked, we need to do more to address this heinous crime.”
Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. According to the International Labour Organization, human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion industry, of which $99 billion belongs to sexual exploitation.
To view comments from Kauffman on human trafficking, go here
Bills in the package aim to increase penalties or expand definitions of crimes related to human trafficking, while another would expand the list of sexual offenses that require offenders to participate in a program of counseling and therapy designed for incarcerated sex offenders.
Other measures would prohibit defendants from introducing evidence of a human trafficking victim’s past sexual victimization; expand opportunities for expert testimony in human trafficking cases; and require courts to consider human trafficking convictions when considering child custody.
For more information and a full listing of bills in the package, go to pahousegop.com/humantrafficking
“I am glad we were able to work together as a body to get this legislation through the House and onto the Senate,” said Kauffman. “This is an underground crime that we need to shed light on, which is why I was proud to also take part in a press conference today in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Pennsylvania.”
To report suspected human trafficking to federal law enforcement, call 1-866-347-2423. To receive help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to 233733.
Representative Rob Kauffman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman
Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) today joined his colleagues in the state Legislature at a press conference to champion a package of bills aimed at combatting the crime of human trafficking.