Modern-day slavery is a pervasive issue that involves fundamental human rights violations with dynamics of economic plight and devastating effects on oppressed victims. The famously progressive state of Massachusetts has truly led other states in equality and non-discrimination issues, especially with respect to same sex marriage. But when it comes to protecting human trafficking victims by subjecting the perpetrators to criminal punishment, Massachusetts falls far behind, as one of only 5 states in the country that doesn’t yet have a law criminalizing human trafficking.
A bill to make human trafficking into a state crime, supported by Attorney General Coakley and other law enforcement officials, was introduced in late January. The United Nations estimates $32 billion in international criminal profits are derived each year from the sheer exploitation of human trafficking. Coakley recognized that “[i]t has been under the radar, but it’s time to shine a spotlight on this crime.” Amicus will continue to follow the developments in Massachusetts’ long-overdue fight against modern day slavery.
For more information on the dynamics of human trafficking both internationally and in the United States, see http://www.humantrafficking.org/ or read Siddharth Kara’s Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery.