Legislation unanimously approved in a Senate committee Tuesday aims to strengthen Indiana’s human trafficking laws.
The bill makes several changes to current statute. It separates out labor trafficking and sex trafficking and better defines them both.
It also takes out the requirement in law that force must be involved in trafficking, because Rep. Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette) says that can be difficult to prove.
“They bring them in illegally and they say to them, ‘Oh you can leave,’” Siegrist says. “That’s why we took the force element out because they say, ‘You are free to leave. You have no documents, you don’t speak the language, you have no money – go ahead, leave.’”
The bill also requires police to work with the Department of Child Services on custody of child human trafficking victims. And it promotes further study of the issue by various state panels and commissions.