|Posted:||January 16, 2019 12:50 PM|
|From:||Representative Joanna E. McClinton|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Human Trafficking Awareness Education|
|Human trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, generating hundreds of billions of dollars and imprisoning millions in horrible conditions. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally, with the vast majority of them being women and girls. In 2017, an estimated 1 out of 7 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. This problem occurs in every area of the globe and right here in our own backyards.
Roughly 200 cases of human trafficking in Pennsylvania were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2017, up from 157 in 2016 and 109 in 2014. In fact, for the first six months of 2018, total human trafficking cases reported to the hotline for the Commonwealth were already at 127. Not surprisingly, the hotline has seen high usage in recent years – with 575 calls being made in 2017 regarding Pennsylvania cases alone. While these figures are alarming, the National Human Trafficking Hotline cautions that this data does not represent the full scope of trafficking in the state because of a lack of awareness and underreporting.
Education and greater awareness can result in a higher amount of reported cases. More reported cases means more investigations that will shut down these truly horrendous criminal enterprises. To that end, my legislation would require schools to implement human trafficking information into their health curriculum, including the dangers and signs individuals can recognize and report, internet safety, and what students can do to help. This curriculum would be provided to students at the junior high and senior high school levels.
Please join me in supporting this important legislation to ensure our students can recognize the signs of human trafficking and help end this epidemic of crime in Pennsylvania.
Introduced as HB1413