Colorado state lawmakers are putting extra effort into their campaign to wipe out the scourge of human trafficking for the sex trade.
House Bill 1072, sponsored by Republican Reps. Lois Landgraf of Colorado Springs and Polly Lawrence of Roxborough Park, passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously on Thursday. The legislation would tighten current law against human trafficking in several ways:
- It adds to the definition of human trafficking for sexual servitude the act of purchasing another person for the purpose of coercing him or her to engage in commercial sexual activity;
- It adds that same change to the definition of human trafficking of a minor;
- It adds human trafficking for sexual servitude to the definition of “unlawful sexual behavior,” requiring those convicted to become part of the sexual-offender registry. Under current law, only those convicted of human trafficking of a minor are included in that definition and thus must register.
A press release from the House GOP quotes the sponsors:
“Human trafficking has tragically become a major industry in Colorado and the nation, and we need to be targeting both the supply and the demand for this horrifying crime,” said Landgraf. “In five years, Colorado has gone from a D rating to a B in 2016, and the bill we passed today will help Colorado earn an A for its laws protecting against human trafficking — I hope these efforts will save more victims.”Representative Lawrence added:
“Colorado has become a crossroads for human trafficking, making it very difficult for law enforcement to track victims’ movement in the area. I am pleased to see Colorado strengthening its laws to combat human trafficking, and adding the crime of facilitating the travel of a victim will allow law enforcement more flexibility to arrest and prosecute people proliferating this crime.”