Human trafficking is a surprisingly ubiquitous crime. Its concealment and closeted nature makes obvious the need to attack the problem head on by not only increasing the consequences, but also by raising awareness. This is why I am extremely pleased with Gov. Sam Brownback, which may come as a shock to anyone who normally reads my column.
Brownback is seeking to change the laws regarding sex trafficking in Kansas. Namely, he wants to increase fines and change penalties to felonies for those convicted of trafficking, according to Associated Press. While this action itself may not destroy the problem, it will curb the problem to such a degree that perhaps it will eventually vanish from this state and, hopefully, be a model for other states. Georgia and Florida, for instance, should definitely take a look at what Brownback is doing. Both states seek stricter enforcement against trafficking.
Generally, Brownback’s laws have struck me dumbfounded, especially education reform, but this proposal has nothing but my undying support. An even greater aspect of the proposed change is that the fines charged to violators would go toward a fund to assist the victims of these heinous crimes.
While in Romania from 2008 to 2010, I served on the Gender and Development committee, which greatly assisted in informing the general populace of the sex trafficking problem that occurs in great numbers in Eastern Europe, offering me a chance to see the pain and suffering that accompanies the victims in a light not seen by others. These funds are absolutely necessary to assist them in any kind of emotional and psychological support.
And while I do not see this change facing any serious threat, beyond the normal partisanship which accompanies every proposal, I still implore you to contact your representatives and urge them to pass this bill without a second thought. The thought of someone disagreeing with this bill is tantamount to openly acknowledging these crimes and allowing them to continue in your towns and regions of the state.
Tell everyone you know to support this piece of legislation. In doing so, we can help put to an end one of the most atrocious world-wide crimes and force Kansas leaders to continue making laws that benefit everyone by punishing criminals who exploit those without the power to fight for themselves.