Cover Story

There ought to be a law

Issue: "The new slave trade," March 25, 2000

This month Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) plan to introduce legislation in the Senate to tighten U.S. laws on sexual trafficking. Sen. Brownback says, "It would be very defeatist of us to say that this is a problem, and we are not ever going to deal adequately with it. I think raising the issue and raising the stature of it will have an impact." Already a bill is making its way through the House. Both measures aim to:

  • tighten prosecution and sentencing guidelines for convicted traffickers in the United States and require convicted traffickers to provide full restitution to their victims
  • prohibit known traffickers from entering the United States
  • require the secretary of state to report annually to Congress on severe forms of trafficking
  • withhold some forms of U.S. foreign assistance from countries that do not meet minimum standards to prohibit trafficking
  • grant non-immigrant alien status to certain victims, alleviating the immediate threat of deportation
  • eliminate jailing or fining of victims merely because they were trafficked.

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Mindy Belz
Mindy Belz

Mindy travels to the far corners of the globe as the editor of WORLD and lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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