The ACLJ is pleased to have participated in crafting new legislation to protect children from the horrors of human trafficking in Indiana just in time for the Super Bowl.
It is a crime so horrific that most of us have a hard time comprehending it – the human trafficking of young children for the purpose of selling them into the sex trade. However, the reality is that it is happening on a shockingly large scale, and there is a desperate need for enhanced prosecution. Maybe most shocking to American citizens is that this is far from only an international problem. In fact, while thousands of children – mostly young girls – are held against their will and forced into sexual service each and every year in America, our laws are often outdated and inadequately enforced.
That’s why what just happened in Indiana is such welcome news. In the days leading up to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, the Indiana legislature passed a tough new anti-trafficking law that Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law. We at the ACLJ are pleased to have been a part of the legal research that led to the enactment of this law, and we applaud the State of Indiana for recognizing the problem that they had, and for taking quick and direct action to protect potential victims of such a heinous crime.
The ACLJ has been working with Shared Hope International (SHI) over the last two years to analyze the strength of all 50 states’ human trafficking laws. SHI had given Indiana a ‘D’ grade for its previous law, and with the Super Bowl – one of the largest attractions for human traffickers – approaching, Indiana appropriately moved with great haste to bolster its law.
The new law provides a strong disincentive for human traffickers to do business in Indiana. And hopefully, this is the beginning of a trend, with other states soon following suit. There is no place in America for slavery of any kind, and the sexual slavery of our young children is one most disgusting, abhorrent forms of slavery imaginable. It is time for all of us to have the moral courage to stand up for these victims, and to call on all states to follow Indiana’s example by cracking down on traffickers within its borders.
Nathanael Bennett is the Director of Government Affairs for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), as well as the Main Representative to the United Nations in New York, NY for the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ).
Used with the permission of the ACLJ.