Human Traffic Watch

Montana lawmakers confront prostitution in Bakken boomtowns

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on March 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

While some prostitution cases may hint at human trafficking, there is no actual proof that trafficking is a problem in Montana, said a second bill sponsor, Rep. Sarah Laszloffy, R-Laurel.

But without the language on the books to correctly identify cases as human trafficking, victims are left without access to help and authorities without the tools needed to track it, she said.

One concern is that law enforcement may be missing the signs and mistakenly charging victims of trafficking with prostitution, said a third sponsor, Rep. Jenifer Gursky, D-Missoula.

Human trafficking is a form of slavery that happens when a victim, either an adult or a child, is coerced, deceived or forced into labor — sometimes prostitution, sometimes other forced labor.

Montana is one of the “faltering four” states — along with Arkansas, South Dakota and Wyoming — that has not passed adequate legislation to assist victims and end the crime, according to Polaris, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group.

Source: Missoulian

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