Sen. John Braun is pleased with Monday’s unanimous Senate votes for two bills aimed at fighting human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. Senate Bill 5669 would provide law-enforcement officers and the criminal-justice system with more tools to go after traffickers, and Senate Bill 5488 would establish an enhanced penalty for perpetrators who use the internet to assist in the commission of a sex-trafficking crime.
“People may not realize how big of a problem human trafficking is in our state,” said Braun, R-Centralia. “Too many people are falling victim to these predators, and right now law enforcement needs all the help it can get to stop the traffickers. They have the resources to relocate their operations very quickly, and these bills give law enforcement and local prosecutors additional tools to combat the abuse of our children.”
Braun commended the Senate for its commitment to protecting the victims of human trafficking and bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.
“Sadly, slavery is still alive in the form of child prostitution and human trafficking,” said Braun. “This is a problem in all areas of the state, and needs to be addressed very quickly. The only way we can stop these horrible tragedies is by working together.”
Both bills passed with the support of all 49 state senators, and are in response to an ongoing problem in Washington, including the use of Backpage.com and similar websites.