There are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The United States has been working to combat modern day slavery, human trafficking, by passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 and subsequent reauthorizations. This valuable piece of legislation provides a sturdy legal platform for federal cases, but what does this mean for most the traffickers around the nation? A majority of cases are tried at the state level, and some states do not have laws to adequately prosecute a trafficker. This means in certain states traffickers are evading significant sentences and financial penalties, making the crime seem more profitable than punishable.
This is what Shared Hope is working to change through the Protected Innocence Initiative. The Legislative Framework measures state law against the federal standard to certify that every state has an equal ability to impose significantly high penalties for traffickers. It outlines that the use of the Internet to entice, recruit or sell a minor and creating and distributing child pornography should carry high penalties. State’s laws are analyzed and graded to ensure that convicted traffickers must register as sex offenders and parental rights should be terminated for convicted sex traffickers.
State Report Cards will be released publically on December 1. Please tune in to our blog this week to learn more about remaining components of the Protected Innocence Initiative. Check out our event calendar for details of the release.