Human Traffic Watch

Van Hollen pledges to make child trafficking No. 1 priority

In Child Sex Trafficking, Child Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm

The average age of a child first forced into the sex slave trade in the U.S. is 13, according to the state Department of Justice. And some children are just infants or toddlers when they are first exploited by sex traffickers.

“When I think of (this happening to) an infant or toddler, it is not just disgusting, it’s the worst form of torture I can imagine,” Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said. “It makes me angry.”

In the coming year, Van Hollen hopes to crack down on sex trafficking of children by hiring special agents and analysts to investigate these crimes and work with lawmakers to draft human trafficking-related legislation, and by holding more training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim and witness coordinators.

Van Hollen asked for more than $900,000 as part of his two-year budget request for the state Department of Justice, which was submitted to Gov. Scott Walker in September. That money would be used to hire five full-time employees, including three special agents and two criminal analysts, who would specifically work to fight child sex trafficking.

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