A key state senator says Missouri is a “hotspot” for human trafficking.
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, will testify Monday afternoon in Jefferson City before the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
The St. Louis Democrat will present her bill, which relates to human trafficking.
Nasheed’s legislation would allow those forced into prostitution against their will to have their criminal records relating to prostitution erased, upon court approval.
“Those forced into prostitution are victims and we should be trying to help them,” Nasheed says.
She describes it as modern-day slavery.
Senator Nasheed will also hold a rally at the Missouri Capitol Tuesday afternoon at 1, as part of her sex trafficking awareness day.
Attorney General Josh Hawley, R, told Missourinet this month that human trafficking is a “scourge” that touches every corner of Missouri.
Hawley said the raids shut down 13 businesses that were “acting as fronts for human trafficking.” He said agents were able to liberate about ten young women, from an organized crime ring that stretches back to East Asia.
Hawley also confirmed there are active human trafficking investigations in other parts of Missouri.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D) spoke at a press conference last week in Washington, urging passage of a federal bill called the “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act.” That bill is aimed at making sure websites like Backpage can be held liable.
“This legislation is about the 14-year-old girl that is somewhere along I-44 today having sex at a truck stop courtesy of her online pimp, facilitated by a website that the law allows to operate with impunity,” McCaskill said at the Washington press conference. “We took Backpage- which knowingly facilitated sex trafficking of young girls – all the way to the Supreme Court and won, but we’re not stopping there. This legislation is about ensuring survivors get the justice they deserve and about stopping the next Backpage before any website can claim another victim.”