Oklahoma House to study human trafficking crimes
Ponca City Now - September 24, 2014 7:28 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma lawmakers are launching an investigation into child trafficking crimes and services available to trafficking victims.
The House Public Safety Committee will launch the study Wednesday as lawmakers search for ways to protect victims of human trafficking from criminal charges.
Gov, Mary Fallin last year signed into law legislation that shields minors from prostitution charges by creating the legal assumption that they were coerced into the work. Fallin also signed a bill that allows sex trafficking victims to ask courts to clear prior prostitution convictions.
The bills sailed through both chambers of the Legislature and have wide support among trafficking victim advocates, who say trafficking laws have become increasingly focused on protecting victims in recent years.
The U.S. State Department says there are 27 million human trafficking victims worldwide.