by Krystle Gabele
August 14, 2013
Polaris Project released their 2013 State Ratings on Human Trafficking Laws today, which examined the progress that states have made in passing legislation that will combat human trafficking (sex and labor). This report ranked states as Tier 1 (meaning they have passed significant measures to combat trafficking and should continue to persevere in upholding these laws), Tier 2 (they have passed measures, but need to strengthen them), Tier 3 (made some effort in passing laws and should work to improve them), and Tier 4 (state has not made any efforts in combating human trafficking through legislation).
According to the report, 39 states have passed new measures to combat human trafficking since last year, while 32 states are now in Tier 1 status, which was an increase from 2012. This is good news, as these states have worked to help with assisting victims and placing tougher measures against those who are traffickers.
Meanwhile, there are a few states that could work and improve human trafficking laws. South Dakota was ranked as a Tier 4 state, as they only have provisions against labor and human trafficking, yet has not placed measures to fund programs that could help with identifying, protecting, and providing services to victims.
While there are 32 states in Tier 1, 11 states and the District of Columbia in Tier 2, and 6 states in Tier 3, more work needs to be done in terms of identifying victims and providing them with the resources to assist them in their recovery. Hopefully, this report will help Washington with creating national benchmarks towards abolishing this crime against humanity.