Shared Hope International Releases State Report Cards to Reveal State of Trafficking Laws in U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Legislative advancements in 2015 scored Texas, Montana and Minnesota top spots in the nation for strongest laws to combat child sex trafficking, according to a new study by Shared Hope International. These states join Louisiana, Tennessee and Washington, the first three states in the nation to earn an “A” on the annual Protected Innocence Challenge report card grading the sufficiency of state laws to address child sex trafficking.
Five years of sweeping legislative advancements allowed 47 states to raise their grade since 2011. In 2015, a record-setting 933 bills related to domestic minor sex trafficking were introduced in 50 states and D.C., resulting in the improvement of 14 state grades. Louisiana ranked top in the nation for the second year in a row, earning a 99.5 per cent. Michigan claimed most improved state. View the state grades.
Montana tackled major legislative gaps in 2015, raising its grade from a “D” to an “A” – one of the most significant improvements in the 2015 session. Montana, like other states in the Bakken region, has expedited a crackdown on child sex trafficking due, in part, to the increased threat of trafficking from the surge of transient workers drawn to the booming oil industry.
“Thanks to the dedicated efforts of advocates and legislators in Texas, Montana, and Minnesota, these states are leaders in the battle against trafficking. They are sending an undeniable message that our children are not for sale,” Linda Smith, President and Founder of Shared Hope International said.
The Protected Innocence Challenge was created to address key legislative gaps and makes recommendations for improvement so states can strengthen laws and implement effective state response. See all state grades at www.sharedhope.org/reportcards.
703.351.8062 office / 602.818.3955 cell
For media convenience, a variety of video clips and resources, including sex trafficking survivor comments, are available at this location: https://vimeo.com/user12564384/videos. Videos are password protected, please enter password sharedmedia1 to access media clips.
Shared Hope International is an anti-trafficking organization focusing on prevention, restoration and justice for victims of sex trafficking. Founded in 1998 by Congresswoman Linda Smith, Shared Hope is a trusted leader for training, research, restorative development, and legislative development.