In 2011, the State of Louisiana adapted the U.S. definition of trafficking making it a criminal offense: "to knowingly recruit, harbor, transport, provide, solicit, obtain, or maintain the use of another person through fraud, force, or coercion to provide services or labor” (RS 14:46.2)" and "to knowingly recruit, harbor, transport, provide, solicit, obtain, or maintain the use of another person under the age of 18 years for the purpose of engaging in commercial sexual activity” (RS 14:46.3)." The 2 most common types of human trafficking are sexual exploitation and forced labor.
Human Trafficking is the fastest growing and the second largest criminal industry in the world (behind drug dealing), earning more than $32 billion per year. It is estimated that $9.5 billion is generated in the United States alone.
o 75% of minors engaged in prostitution have a pimp who can earn up to $632,000 per year
o Average age of entrance into HT (Polaris project data)
o Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the US each year and 1/3 are children (US State Dept estimate)
o Approximately 293,000 American youth are at risk of being trafficked (Dept of Justice)
o Within the first 48 hours of running away, 1 in 3 young adults are lured into commercial sex exploitation
o From April 2009 – June 2012 there were 126 documented victims of sexual human trafficking in southeast LA (Rescue and Restore, South LA)
An additional 91 persons were identified as victims of labor human trafficking (Catholic Charities, N.O.)
In 2013, I had the honor to co-chair the Human Trafficking Task Force that helped identify how Louisiana can strengthen its laws. During the 2014 Legislative Session, I helped co-author a comprehensive human trafficking bill (HB1025) that was unanimously passed in both the House and the Senate.
Louisiana started with a C Report Card by Shared Hope International in 2011 in 41 key legislative components that must be addressed in a state’s laws in order to effectively respond to the crime of domestic minor sex trafficking. I am proud to be a part of a state who is now #1 out of 3 states in the nation for having the highest score in 2014.
Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 888-373-7888 if you are a Victim or suspect human trafficking activity.