LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Law enforcement and social service agencies are preparing a major push to clamp down on human trafficking in Nebraska, but advocates say the state should do more for survivors who are likely to require housing, specialized counseling and medical care.
The new approach championed by Attorney General Doug Peterson focuses on helping survivors, stopping traffickers and shrinking the market by going after customers instead of victims who are coerced into working as prostitutes. A state task force is developing a plan, and Peterson is considering legislation next year to increase criminal penalties for traffickers.
Advocates are starting with a focus on sex trafficking, where victims — usually women and children — are forced into prostitution. They eventually plan to expand their efforts into labor trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery in which people are made to work through violence, threats or debt bondage.