Kansas has been given a grade of "B" for legislative laws regarding the sex trafficking of minors. The grade has risen over the past several years.
In 2011, Kansas had a score of "F" from Shared Hope, an international victim advocacy group. The group monitors all 50 states on laws that help to prevent child sex trafficking and punish offenders.
Kansas' higher score marks the fifth year in a row of improvements, and state Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release this week that human trafficking has been a priority. He cites a new law crafted in 2013 that resulted in more effective prosecution, additional training and better support for victims.
“Kansas started out, like many states did, in the basement really in terms of our score on dealing with human trafficking," he told Kansas Public Radio. "We’ve seen consistent increases, I believe, every year."
Schmidt said the report also notes areas where Kansas can improve. He says the state could do more to recognize that victims of sex trafficking are victims, even if they’ve taken part in criminal activity. He says he’ll propose legislation next year that could help further improve the state’s response to human trafficking.
The report shows Louisiana had the highest score, and New Hampshire showed the most improvement.
Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.
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