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Taking action against human trafficking

Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer | Jan 14, 2019 4:17 AM


What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, January 14, 2019:

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month; an opportunity to raise awareness of the often-hidden crime.

It may not be in plain sight, but human trafficking happens everywhere; in communities around the country and in our own backyards. If left unchecked, traffickers will recruit and exploit victims with profit as their motivation.

Pennsylvania legislators and advocacy organizations are part of the fight to combat modern-day slavery.

The Buyer Beware Act, also known as House Bill 12 and Senate Bill 60, rolled out in January and will double prison time for traffickers and patrons, if signed into law.

In April, the Federal government signed into law the Fight Online Sex Trafficking act to fight the trafficking of children and adults on the internet.

There is a great deal of attention and initiative focused on the problem. Is it helping?  

Appearing on Smart Talk Monday to examine the issues are Jennifer Storm, Commonwealth Victim Advocate, Rhonda Hendrickson, VP of programs, Division of Residential and Violence Intervention & Prevention Services, YWCA of Greater Harrisburg and Shea Rhodes, director of the Villanova University Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation.

Also joining the conversation is Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), co-author of the Buyer Beware Act, which is current legislation in the House and Senate to increase penalties on criminals convicted of certain human trafficking offenses. 

To report a tip, receive information or seek help from trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text "HELP" or "INFO" to BeFree (233733)

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Rhonda Hendrickson and Jennifer Storm

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Shea Rhodes and Rep. Seth Grove


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