Momentum Building to Toughen Trafficking Penalties

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Strong momentum now exists to pass anti-trafficking legislation at the state level, according to Shared Hope International.

The group's third annual Protected Innocence Challenge Report shows that this year 48 states introduced close to 800 anti-trafficking bills and 29 states passed legislation.

Tennessee, Louisiana, and Washington received A's on the report for their advancing legislation.

Linda Smith, founder of Shared Hope, said states are waking up to the need to toughen penalties.

"When we started there were very few states that even made it a felony to buy commercial sex with a child, and now 48 states have it either as a felony or a serious criminal activity," Smith noted.

She also warned that much still needs to be done. A recent survey showed only 18 out of 400 adults who bought sex with a child online went to prison

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