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AG Derek Schmidt: Legislature passes bill to strengthen protections for human trafficking victims

Release Date: May 01, 2018

TOPEKA – (May 1, 2018) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today thanked the Kansas Legislature for unanimously passing a bill that will strengthen protections for victims of human trafficking.

The measure, Senate Bill 281, would allow courts to issue “protection from human trafficking” orders restraining a defendant from harassment, communication and abusive behaviors. The orders also could place restrictions on a trafficker’s physical proximity to the victim, similar to protection from stalking or sexual assault orders in current law.

The bill was approved by the House 124-0 in March, and won final approval from the Senate 40-0 today. It will now be presented to Gov. Jeff Colyer for his consideration.

“This legislation will add another tool to our toolbox in the fight against human trafficking,” Schmidt said. “I am grateful that the Legislature continues to recognize the importance of protecting and supporting trafficking victims and holding their traffickers accountable.”

The bill was a result of a recommendation made by the Human Trafficking Advisory Board (HTAB). The HTAB was established in 2010 to explore the issues of human trafficking in Kansas. In 2013, the Kansas Legislature recognized the HTAB as the state’s official Human Trafficking Advisory Board. This team of advisers is composed of law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, court personnel, victim advocates, human trafficking survivors and others with expertise in the field. Attorney General Schmidt appoints members to the Board.

To learn more about Kansas efforts to combat human trafficking, visit http://ag.ks.gov/human-trafficking.

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