Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Senator Fights Trafficking on the Hill

Rachel Adcock
Blog Post #2

Senator Fights Trafficking on the Hill

She is known for her active role in furthering small businesses and fighting for veterans’ rights in San Antonio. But this legislative session, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, is committed to fighting a new battle: Human trafficking.

In the 2013 Texas state legislature, Senator Van de Putte is introducing three bills that will aid victims and target traffickers. Senate Bill 92 focuses on victim relief. It sets forth guidelines concerning how the legal system should regard young victims of trafficking, relieving them of criminal charges of prostitution.

In 2009 the Texas Attorney General initiated the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force. This force, installed by Sen. Van de Putte during the 81st legislative session, works with law enforcement, non-governmental organizations, and prosecutors to establish policies that assist in the successful prosecution of human traffickers.  Senate Bill 93 during the 2013 session will extend the task force for another two years.

The third bill in the series however, Senate Bill 94, focuses on those convicted of trafficking humans. It will allow victims to sue traffickers and website owners whose sites served as a media through which the victims were sold.

“There's one group of people I want to make their life miserable. That's human traffickers,” Van de Putte said in a San Antonio news conference in January.

“This is one of the worst crimes that exists,” Van de Putte said. And she is committed to stopping it. 

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