Missouri Attorney General Pushes Fight against Human Trafficking

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.

Hawley actually has a paged dedicated to ending human trafficking on his campaign website, however, it is weirdly only accessible from the “privacy policy” page. Most likely due to bad web designing.   The page only has one short and vague platitude about human trafficking, of course with the obligatory campaign message video.  The video, however, never mentions human trafficking or any either nefarious crime, but only how the biggest threat to national security is the “radical liberals”, which according to Hawley are passing legislature that “attack every constitutional freedom we cherish”.  Assuming “we” refers to the average white, Christian, conservative American – it is very easy to see where Hawley’s allegiance lies.

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.