human trafficking

IRA GELB, FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Sex trafficking is big business and it's become a big problem in Kansas. Every day, women and children are held captive -- usually through coercion -- and forced into prostitution. It happens at truck stops, motels and dozens of other places.

Tony Webster / Flickr Creative Commons

Wichita City Council members are considering an ordinance that looks to end human trafficking and sex crimes within local massage parlors.

The Wichita Police Department reports that there have been more than 30 massage businesses investigated in the last two years, which have produced 33 arrests for human trafficking and other sex crimes.

Kansas is one of only five states where a license isn’t required to operate a massage business. Captain Kevin Mears of the Wichita Police Department says this lack of regulation is enticing to human traffickers.

Ira Gelb, flickr Creative Commons

Last week, Gov. Sam Brownback proclaimed January to be Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Brownback was joined by Attorney General Derek Schmidt as well as representatives from the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Environment. All of the state agencies, along with the Department for Children and Families and the Department of Corrections, are working together to educate Kansans about the presence of human trafficking. That includes what to look for and how to report suspected human trafficking.

Center for Combating Human Trafficking

Last month, FBI officials recovered four underage victims and arrested eight pimps as part of a nationwide human trafficking sting. According to the FBI, the child recoveries took place within Wichita and the greater Kansas City area.

ICT S.O.S.

ICT S.O.S., a local non-profit dedicated to the fight against human trafficking, has been selected to receive the 2015 Volunteer Leadership Group Award from the National Children’s Alliance. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson reports…  

Ira Gelb, flickr Creative Commons

This story originally aired during Morning Edition 4-29-15

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals often treat victims of human trafficking. But if people in the medical fields don’t know the warning signs or how to help someone who is being trafficked, an opportunity to save a life could be missed. To keep that from happening, Via Christi Health in Wichita has an unique training programs for employees. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more...

Kansas AG Joins National Effort To Fight Human Trafficking

Aug 12, 2013

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has been appointed to a national committee focused on combating human trafficking.

Schmidt's office says he's the first Kansan to serve on the Human Trafficking Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General.

The appointment comes in the same year that Kansas legislators voted to strengthen the state's anti-trafficking law.

Human Trafficking Laws Updated

Apr 23, 2013

Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill to combat human trafficking and exploitation of underage sex workers.

The governor signed the bill Monday, saying it will provide increased criminal penalties and services for victims of sexual exploitation.

"This would not only strengthen our ability to severly punish traffickers," said Brownback. "It would give us valuable new tools to protect vulnerable young victims so they can have hope of a new life and break the cycle of exploitation."

The bill modifies Kansas human trafficking laws passed nearly a decade ago.

Dozens of social workers and law enforcement personnel around Kansas recently completed training designed to further understanding of human trafficking, which is a modern form of human slavery.

Classes were held in Wichita, Topeka and Hays. Social workers from the Kansas Department for Children and Families and Kansas Highway Patrol officers gained new insights from nationally renowned expert Dottie Laster.