Minnesota lawmakers have approved changes to sex trafficking laws after a task force had discovered the limits of existing laws.
One new change will classify sex trafficking as a violent crime.
Changes fall into five categories:
Increased recognition of trafficking as a violent crime and danger to public safety — these crimes regularly involve violence, and the danger to victims and others is high;
Statutory maximum sentences needed to be increased to recognize that many traffickers already have significant criminal histories;
Increased consequences for sex buyers, recognizing that demand drives trafficking, where trafficking occurs (public or private place) should not be a factor, and there should be increased consequences for repeat offenders;
More protection of victims and children through higher supervision and crime levels for solicitation of children 15 years old and younger;
Stronger minimum penalties to deter trespassing at emergency shelter or transitional housing.
We applaud this action and implore other states' governments to do the same.