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Councilman Reagan Dunn introduces human trafficking legislation across King County

The Metropolitan King County Council is considering legislation that would expand the county's outreach efforts in the fight against human trafficking.

The legislation calls for the placement of human trafficking public awareness materials in county facilities such as the jail, public health clinics, transit centers, courthouses and other locations where trafficked individuals and the public may see the information, according to a King County Council press release.

“Human trafficking is a serious issue” said councilman Reagan Dunn, the prime sponsor of the legislation, in the release. "This legislation is intended to make sure that those who need help exiting trafficking can get important information that they might not otherwise know about. What’s great about it is that it effectively spreads important information to a wide audience using minimal county resources."

The legislation calls on the King County Executive, in partnership with Washington Anti-Trafficking Network to develop and implement a public outreach and information posting program to increase public awareness of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children.

“Human trafficking is 21st century enslavement. Society must continue working to combat this humanitarian tragedy,” said councilman Pete von Reichbauer in the release. “I am pleased to cosponsor this legislation which represents one step toward reaching victims and raising public awareness of the issue.”

Human trafficking is defined under federal law, and victims include children involved in commercial sex trade, adults age eighteen or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts and anyone forced into different forms of “labor or services,” such as domestic workers held in a home or farm workers forced to labor against their will.

Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, and the human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children are serious crime problems on a worldwide basis, in Washington State, and in King County. It is estimated that between 300 and 500 children will be bought and sold in King County this year alone.

 

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