New bill would improve human trafficking laws as Washington gets C grade

A new bill would improve Washington’s human trafficking and sexual abuse laws.

The state recently got a C grade from Shared Hope International, the leading nonprofit working to eradicate sex trafficking, according to a news release last week from state Democrats.

SB 6006 would implement Shared Hope’s recommendations to improve how the state identifies and responds to victims, provides them with continued care, and brings justice,” said the release.

In April 2020, Inslee signed ‘Safe Harbor.’ The legislation prohibits anyone under 18 from being charged with prostitution and created a pilot program for law enforcement to put sexually exploited youth instead of detention.

The release said SB 6006 would also make state law consistent with the federal Justice for Victims Trafficking Act, so the state would continue getting funding for anti-trafficking work.

“We must remember that these survivors are children,” said Dhingra, chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee. “They have suffered more than enough trauma for a lifetime, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we give them the help and support they need to heal and to get their lives back on track.”

Last week, there was a public hearing on the new bill.

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