ST. LOUIS – Attorney General Josh Hawley spoke at a human trafficking safe house on April 3 outlining how his department plans to help fight against human trafficking.
Part of his plan includes creating various regulations under consumer protection laws to help fight and prosecute human trafficking rings that pose as businesses. It will also prohibit debt bondage, which is when a victim is forced to pay off a large debt either through labor or prostitution. To enforce these regulations, he announced the creation of anti-trafficking unit.
However, the task force may not receive all of the funding required. The Missouri House recently voted to cut $7 million from the funding of consumer protection laws.
Human trafficking is defined as a form of slavery when a person is coerced into labor or sex against their will. The amount of reported human trafficking in Missouri nearly doubled from 69 cases in 2015 to 135 in 2016, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
If you have reports of human trafficking you can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-(888) 373-7888.