Lawmakers seek to tighten bar on human traffickingBy Associated Press | Published 05 Feb 2013 04:05pm |
Photo courtesy of southernecho.org
JACKSON, Miss.- Mississippi lawmakers are seeking to tighten the state's laws against human trafficking.
Judiciary committees Tuesday approved House Bill 673 and Senate Bill 2719.
The measures are meant to raise penalties and tighten rules against forcing someone to work against their will. It especially aims to crack down on forced prostitution of girls under 18.
The measures say those who benefit financially from exploitation, not just those who force the labor, can be prosecuted. For trafficking of minors, they impose a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. Fines could range from $50,000 to $500,000.
Officials can't say how many victims of human trafficking are present in Mississippi. Biloxi police have investigated several cases and two men were indicted in federal court in Jackson in October for child sex trafficking.
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