Human slavery and trafficking takes many forms, oftentimes right under our noses. It is a $9.8 billion dollar industry in the United States alone, and an estimated 20 to 27 million people are trafficked worldwide for either labor or sex.

Children, especially those who have been abused or neglected in their own homes, are especially vulnerable. The average age of a child exploited through sex trafficking is 14 or 15. In fact, Missouri's Children's Division screened more than 55 alleged victims brought into its care in this past October and November.

What Are Our Legislators Doing?

Growing awareness of the issue has led to evolving support for victims across the country. Yet more support is needed to protect the innocent and new bills are sitting in front of our legislators right now:

  • Missouri Senate Bill 792 creates a procedure for the criminal records of victims of human trafficking to be expunged (erased).
  • Missouri House Bill 1526 prohibits the prosecution of a child under 18 years old for prostitution and increases penalties for those patronizing a prostitute under 18. This makes the adult guilty of the crime, not the child.
  • U.S. Senate Bill 1693 is being reviewed right now. Similar legislation has been approved by the House. If passed, the bill would become the first law to prosecute websites which knowingly help or promote sex trafficking, even if the content is posted by the site's users. This closes a loophole in which trafficking via the Internet has been allowed to flourish.

How Can I Help?

While legislative efforts to combat human trafficking are growing, it is important that your voice is heard. Take action today to urge your representatives to support human trafficking bills that protect the victims. You can:

  1. Call or email your legislators! Look up your senators here and your representatives here. You can also contact the leadership in both the Senate and the House
  2. Tweet and post Facebook messages to your representatives and senators as well. 
Sign Up for Advocacy Updates

Did You Know?

Our very own Pam Hamilton is an appointed member of the Missouri Attorney General's Human Trafficking Task Force and has trained thousands of child welfare workers, police officers, and medical personnel on identifying the signs of human trafficking and how to best support victims.

Listen to Our Podcast!

Listen to our podcast with Pam Hamilton on the issue of human trafficking.