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Human trafficking law sent to PA governor

July 9, 2014

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania legislature on June 30 approved legislation intended to combat human trafficking in the state. The legislation was then sent to Gov. Tom Corbett for his signature.

State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, who sponsored the legislation, said SB75 will provide Pennsylvania’s prosecutors with a more accurate definition of human trafficking that would lead to more successful convictions and enhance punishments for traffickers. He said the bill addresses weaknesses in the state’s current law that often allow traffickers to be charged with lesser crimes. The outdated statutory definition of human trafficking does not include sexual servitude. SB75 redefines trafficking to aid prosecutors and provides increased criminal penalties for those convicted of human trafficking.

“This legislation takes aim at one of the most tragic and destructive crimes in modern history that is being committed on a large scale in Pennsylvania and around the world,” said Greenleaf. “The final passage of this legislation is long awaited, and I would like to thank the many advocates who have worked very hard to raise awareness and generate support for this legislation.”

Greenleaf said human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world, generating over $32 billion annually. In the United States, it is estimated that over 100,000 children are in the sex trade. The total number of men, women and children being trafficked in the United States could reach into the hundreds of thousands.